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A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC Review Roundup

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A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC "re-opened" on Sunday night August 1st as it officially celebrated Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch joining the cast. So what did the critics have to say?

Charles Isherwood, NY Times: "But for theater lovers there can be no greater current pleasure than to witness Bernadette Peters perform the show's signature number, "Send In the Clowns," with an emotional transparency and musical delicacy that turns this celebrated song into an occasion of transporting artistry. I'm not sure I've ever experienced with such palpable force - or such prominent goose bumps - the sense of being present at an indelible moment in the history of musical theater"

Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press: "She and Stritch, a fellow Tony winner, are making a welcome return. When Stritch sings of failing standards in "Liaisons," she's not talking about acting (well, not in the traditional sense) but one can't help extrapolating a bit. "Where is style?" she asks. "Where is skill?" 'Where's passion in the art, where's craft?" Here's one place you can look: Right at her, onstage at the Walter Kerr Theatre."

Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter: "Bottom Line: New leads Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch bring a whole new level to a show that demands a repeat visit."

Erik HaagensenBackstage: "The company has adjusted, and the show is still pretty wonderful. The unquestionable highlight of the evening is Peters. This is without doubt one of her finest stage performances. Probably wisely, Stritch doesn't even make a feint toward belonging to the show's period, nor does she reach for the kind of elegance and hauteur that Mme. Armfeldt affects. What Stritch does offer is honest, psychologically acute acting married with the kind of razor-sharp timing that can only be attained through a lifetime of experience."

Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal: "Broadway's Home Team Strikes Out. Stritch, Peters Falter in Recast 'Music'. Will they be able to keep the show open for another six months? I doubt it-and not just because they lack the name recognition necessary to galvanize the tourist trade. Much as I esteem both women, neither one of them is well cast."

Michael Sommers, NJ Newsroom: "They are, in a word, bewitching. And they give performances quite unlike their predecessors. Just for the record (go look it up), I enjoyed more than some colleagues director Trevor Nunn's leisurely, intimately scaled, darker-toned take on this sophisticated musical affair about former lovers Desiree and Fredrik, now middle-aged, who rekindle their romance in spite of other attachments."

Steve SuskinVariety: "What a difference a diva makes. Bernadette Peters steps into the six-month-old revival of "A Little Night Music" with a transfixing performance, playing it as if she realizes her character's onstage billing -- "the one and only Desiree Armfeldt" -- is cliched hyperbole. By figuratively rolling her eyes at the hype, Peters gives us a rich, warm and comedically human Desiree, which reaches full impact when she pierces the facade with a nakedly honest, tears-on-cheek 'Send in the Clowns.'"

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