BWW Previews: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC comes to the Off Center Theatre, 5/8

BWW Previews: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC comes to the Off Center Theatre, 5/8

A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim marks the largest cast to appear for the Spinning Tree Theatre in Kansas City. The production on the Off Center Theatre stage in Crown Center will feature 13 actors and 7 musicians. The Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night inspired the Sondheim musical.

A Little Night Music opened at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway in 1973 and closed in 1974 after 601 performances and 12 previews. The musical won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics by Sondheim, Outstanding Actress in a Musical Patricia Elliott, Outstanding Director Harold Price, and Most Promising Perform D'Jamin Bartlett. It received the Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, and Best Costume Design. It received six additional nominations for the Tony Award.

The Broadway revival appeared in 2009 at the Walter Kerr Theatre, running for 425 performances and 20 previews. The film adaption in 1977 starred Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Rigg, and Lesley-Anne Down.

This is the tale of the love affairs of Desiree Armfeldt and the men who loved her. The best know song from the musical, "Send In The Clowns," was written only several days before the out of town tryouts for the Broadway production. The song specifically written for Glynis Johns, who could sing but not "sustain a phrase," was Sondheim's way to work around her vocal weakness.

Michael Grayman directs a star-studded cast of actors and singers for A Little Night Music. Performers include Melinda MacDonald, Lauren Braton, Charles Fugate, Molly Denninghoff, Liz Golson, Vigthor Zophoniasson, Cathy Wood, Daniel Beeman, Allison Banks, Devon Barnes, Sarah Morrissey, Zachary Parker, and Bob Wearing. Angie Benson, conducting a seven-piece orchestra, joins choreographer Andy Parkhurst.

Scenic designer Michael Benson and lighting designer Jeffrey Peltz lead a team of design students from the University of Central Missouri. This production is the second collaboration of Spinning Tree Theatre and the University of Central Missouri, the first Ain't Misbehavin' was produced in the fall of 2013.

A Little Night Music appears May 8 through May 24 at the Off Center Theatre. Purchase tickets at the Spinning Tree Theatre website or call the Off Center Theatre box office at 816-545-6000.

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Steve Wilson Steve Wilson is a professional writer, artist, and photographer living in the Kansas City metropolitan area. For the last two years, he has been writing theatrical reviews, covering more than a dozen theatrical companies in the area. Previously he has written comedy material for nationally known entertainers, taught comedy writing at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and has had two books published. He continues to write for an internet news service covering sports, travel, and art in the area.

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