BWW Interviews: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC to Premiere at Old Opera House
Come spend a delightful "Weekend in the Country" when A Little Night Music opens at the Old Opera House in Charles Town, WV this Friday, September 5.
Directed by David Porterfield and musically directed by Alison Shafer, Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music portrays various relationships between amorous actress Desiree Armfeldt, her old flame Frrederick and her current lover, the Count Carl-Magnus. Both men are married, one to an innocent child-bride and the other to a witty wife. Desiree also has a child, currently being raised by her sharp-tongued grandmother, while Desiree is occupied touring in a traveling play. Relationships are renewed and old flames spark when all of the characters are invited to the Armfeldt estate for the weekend.
"This show has drama and even some laughs. It's definitely a show with a variety." said cast member Amanda Willis, who plays Mrs. Segstrom, a member of the vocal quintet.
As a Sondheim musical and true to the title, A Little Night Music is a musically complex show and the cast members enjoyed the process of rising to meet the musical challenges.
"The most challenging aspect has been really honing in on the music and making it perfect as well as making it move the story along" said Ed Conn, who plays Mr. Lindquist in the vocal quintet.
"It is a Sondheim musical, so the music is probably the most challenging part. The music rehearsal process took up a lot of our rehearsal time. During any extra time we had at rehearsal, we would go to the side and work on the music we were having issues with" said Willis.
Known for the witty dialogue and sharp, sophisticated characters, A Little Night Music also offered unique perspectives for the actors.
"As a part of the quintet, I've enjoyed working with the other four members, as well as being the "all-knowing" and acting as a narrator" said Conn.
"It's fun to be in a role where I can interact with other people throughout the show. I love being that kind of omnipresent character and being able to act like I know the thoughts of the other characters" said Willis.
The cast is eager to present the finished performance to area audiences, as well as share the beautiful music and interweaving story lines.
"Anyone who comes to see this show is in for a treat. We have worked hard on learning this music and putting together a great performance for our audiences. The finished product after we have perfected the music is beautiful" said Willis.
"This isn't your typical musical, and audiences should definitely come see it for the gorgeous music and sophisticated sets. This is a very different musical and it is much more operatic" said Conn.
A Little Night Music features Chris Steele as Fredrik Egerman, Karilee Grossnickle as Anne Egerman, Zack Little as Henrik Egerman, Denise O'Brien as Petra, Holly Legg as Desiree Armfeldt, Jenna Kennedy as Fredrika Armfeldt, Nancy Jones as Madame Armfeldt, Ross S. Hudson as Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, Jeanine Evans as Charlotte Malcolm, Lee Hebb as Frid, Paul Cabell as Mr. Erlanson, Karen Paone as Mrs. Anderssen, Heather Mae Wilson as Mrs. Nordstrom, Katie Kennedy as Malla, Chrstine Brewer as Osa and Steven Brewer as Bertrand.
A Little Night Music will run September 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 14 at the Old Opera House, located at 204 N. George Street, Charles Town, WV. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday matinee performances are at 2:30 p.m.. Tickets are reserved. Please call 304-725-4420 or visit www.oldoperahouse.org to make reservations.
Photo Credit: Old Opera House