Haydn Gwynne, Stephen Bogardus, Lauren Molina and More to Lead Huntington's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC This Fall
The Huntington Theatre Company will open its 2015-2016 season with the Tony Award-winning musical A Little Night Music, Stephen Sondheim's most romantic and popular work, led by Tony and Olivier nominee Haydn Gwynne, as well as Broadway's Stephen Bogardus and Lauren Molina. Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois (after all the terrible things I do; Smart People; Rapture, Blister, Burn; and Becky Shaw) will direct. Performances will run September 11 - October 11, 2015 at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre.
A Little Night Music features a gorgeous, sweeping score infused with humor, warmth, and the flavor of a waltz, including Sondheim's best known song "Send in the Clowns." The musical includes a book by Hugh Wheeler, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, and is suggested by the film Smiles of a Summer Night by Ingmar Bergman. Music direction will be provided by Jonathan Mastro (Come Back, Little Sheba and Our Town at the Huntington) and choreography by Daniel Pelzig (Candide at the Huntington).
In this romantic comedy, lovers reunite, passions reignite, and new romances blossom around famous actress Desiree Armfeldt and an unforgettable cast of characters during an eventful weekend in the country. The award-winning score exudes some of Sondheim's most stunning melodies. Written almost entirely in waltz time (¾), the music echoes the love triangles on stage and includes songs such as "Weekend in the Country," "The Miller's Son," and "You Must Meet My Wife." The New York Times calls A Little Night Music, "Sophisticated and enchanting. A triumph!" The Wall Street Journal says, "No score of Sondheim's is as buoyant and thoroughgoing an example of musical comedy as A Little Night Music."
"Stephen Sondheim is the great musical theatre genius of a generation, and A Little Night Music is one of his masterworks," says Artistic Director Peter DuBois. "I am thrilled with our incredible team of designers, the company of actors we have assembled, and the vision we are pursuing for some of the most beautiful music ever written for the stage. We promise to make this a gorgeous night - one that pulsates with love, the complexities of human desire, and the mischief one finds on a weekend in the country."
The ambitious production features a live orchestra of 12 musicians and an award-winning cast of Boston favorites and international musical theatre artists. Tony and Olivier Award nominee Haydn Gwynne will play Desiree Armfeldt. Most recently Ms. Gwynne was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. She also played Margaret Thatcher opposite Helen Mirren's Queen in the original London production of The Audience and was nominated for Tony and Olivier Awards for her role in Billy Elliot the Musical. Desiree's former lover, Fredrik Egerman, will be played by Stephen Bogardus (God of Carnage at the Huntington and Falsettos on Broadway) and local favorite Bobbie Steinbach (Dead End and The Corn is Green at the Huntington) plays her witty, worldly mother Madame Armfeldt. Lauren Molina (Cunegonde in Candide at the Huntington and Rock of Ages on Broadway) plays Countess Charlotte Malcolm and Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, Desiree's current love interest, will be played by Mike McGowan (South Pacific at the Paper Mill Playhouse and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical on Broadway). Morgan Kirner (The Little Mermaid at Theatre by the Sea) will play the virtuous Anne Egerman and McCaela Donovan (Candide at the Huntington) plays her fiery maidservant Petra. Pablo Torres plays Fredrik Egerman's son Henrik, and Desiree's daughter, Fredrika Armfeldt, will be played by Lauren Weintraub (Annie at North Shore Music Theatre).
Other cast members for A Little Night Music include Amy Barker ([title of show] at SpeakEasy Stage Company) as Mrs. Anderson, Wendi Bergamini (Promises Promises on Broadway) as Mrs. Nordstrom, Aimee Doherty (Into the Woods at Lyric Stage Company) as Mrs. Segstorm, Drew O'Shanick as Mr. Lindquist, Nick Sulfaro (Camelot at New Repertory Theatre) as Mr. Erlanson, and Sam Simahk (Into the Woods at Lyric Stage Company) as Frid. With extras Sarah Oakes Muirhead and Patrick Varner and swing Cailin Doran.
A Little Night Music features scenic design by Derrick McLane (Beautiful on Broadway, 2013 and 2014 Oscars), costumes by Robert Morgan (The Seagull, The Corn is Green, and She Loves Me at the Huntington), lighting design by Jeff Croiter (Pirates! at the Huntington, 2012 Tony Award for Peter and the Starcatcher), and sound design by Jon Weston (An American in Paris on Broadway). Production stage manager is Emily McMullen and stage manager is Kevin Schlagle.
Stephen Sondheim (Composer and Lyricist) is an American musical theatre legend and Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony Award winner. He wrote the music and lyrics for Road Show, Passion, Assassins, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Merrily We Roll Along, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Pacific Overtures, The Frogs, A Little Night Music, Follies, Company, Anyone Can Whistle, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, as well as the lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy, Do I Hear a Waltz?, and additional lyrics for Candide. Anthologies of his work include Side by Side by Sondheim, Marry Me a Little, You're Gonna Love Tomorrow, Putting It Together, and Sondheim on Sondheim. He composed the film scores of Stavisky and Reds, songs for Dick Tracy, and the television production Evening Primrose. His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: Finishing the Hat and Look, I Made a Hat. In 2010 the Broadway theatre formerly known as Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed in his honor.
Hugh Wheeler (Book) was a novelist, playwright, and screen writer. He wrote more than 30 mystery novels under the pseudonyms Q. Patrick and Patrick Quentin, and four of his novels were transformed into films - Black Widow, Man in the Net, The Green-Eyed Monster, and The Man with Two Wives. He wrote the screenplays for Travels with My Aunt, Something for Everyone, A Little Night Music, and Nijinsky. His plays include Big Fish, Little Fish; Look: We've Come Through; and We Have Always Lived in the Castle (adapted from the Shirley Jackson novel). He co-authored with Joseph Stein the book for a new production of the 1919 musical Irene, wrote the books for A Little Night Music, a new production of Candide, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (based on a version of the play by Christopher Bond), and Meet Me in St. Louis (adapted from the 1949 MGM musical), contributed additional material for the musical Pacific Overtures, and wrote a new adaptation of the Kurt Weill opera Silverlake, which was directed by Harold Prince at the New York City Opera. He received Tony and Drama Desk Awards for A Little Night Music, Candide, and Sweeney Todd. Prior to his death in 1987, Mr. Wheeler was working on two new musicals, Bodo and Fu Manchu, and a new adaptation of The Merry Widow.
Peter DuBois (Director) is in his eighth season as Artistic Director at the Huntington where his directing credits include the world premieres of Lydia R. Diamond's Smart People, Evan M. Wiener's Captors, Stephen Karam's Sons of the Prophet (2012 Pulitzer Prize Finalist), Bob Glaudini's Vengeance is the Lord's, and David Grimm's The Miracle at Naples; the regional premieres of A. Rey Pamatmat's after all the terrible the things I do, Stephen Belber's The Power of Duff, and Gina Gionfriddo's Becky Shaw and Rapture, Blister, Burn; and Craig Lucas' Prelude to a Kiss. His West End/London credits include Rapture, Blister, Burn (Hampstead Theatre), All New People with Zach Braff (Duke of York's Theatre), and Becky Shaw (Almeida Theatre). Later this season he will direct the world premiere of Gina Gionfriddo's Can You Forgive Her? for the Huntington. His New York credits include The Power of Duff with Greg Kinnear (New York Stage and Film/Powerhouse Theater); the premiere of Rapture, Blister, Burn (Playwrights Horizons, 2013 Pulitzer Prize Finalist); Sons of the Prophet (Roundabout Theatre Company, 2012 Pulitzer Prize Finalist); Modern Terrorism, Becky Shaw, Trust with Sutton Foster, All New People, and Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Second Stage Theatre); Measure for Pleasure, Richard III with Peter Dinklage, Mom, How Did You Meet the Beatles?, and Biro (The Public Theater/NYSF); and Jack Goes Boating with Philip Seymour Hoffman and The View From 151st Street (LAByrinth Theater Company/The Public Theater). Regional US and UK credits include productions at American Conservatory Theater, Trinity Repertory Company, Humana Festival of New Plays, Manchester Opera House, and King's Theater Glasgow. Before arriving at the Huntington, he served for five years as associate producer and resident director at The Public Theater, preceded by five years as artistic director of the Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska. Prior to his work at Perseverance, Mr. DuBois lived and worked in the Czech Republic where he co-founded Asylum, a multi-national squat theatre in Prague. His productions have been on the annual top ten lists of The New York Times, Time Out, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, Newsday, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, The Evening Standard, and Improper Bostonian, and he received an Honorable Mention for 2013 Bostonian of the Year by The Boston Globe Magazine.
Daniel Pelzig (Choreographer) returns to the Huntington having worked on Candide, Private Lives, Company, HMS Pinafore, The Mikado, and A Christmas Carol. His most recent credits include choreographer for Guys and Dolls at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Carousel at Glimmerglass Festival, The Figaro Plays at the McCarter Theatre, and director/choreographer of Die Fledermaus at Houston Grand Opera and Romeo et Juliette at Kentucky Opera. On Broadway he choreographed 33 Variations (starring Jane Fonda) and A Year with Frog and Toad. His Off Broadway productions include Valhalla (New York Theatre Workshop), The New Moon (City Center Encores!), Regrets Only and Newyorkers (Manhattan Theatre Club), and Privates on Parade (Roundabout Theatre Company). His many Boston credits include resident guest artist for the Dance Division of The Boston Conservatory, stage director of The Bartered Bride for Opera Boston, Don Giovanni and La Clemenza di Tito for Boston University Opera Institute, and four years as resident choreographer for Boston Ballet. Other recent credits include The Winter's Tale (Guthrie Theater), My Fair Lady (Shaw Festival/Arena Stage), and Into the Woods (Alliance Theatre). He received his degree in cellular biology from Columbia University.
Jonathan Mastro (Music Director) composed original music for the Huntington's production of Our Town and sound design for Come Back, Little Sheba. His Off Broadway credits include Our Town and Hit The Wall (Barrow Street Theatre), Julie Taymor's A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Taming of the Shrew (Theatre for a New Audience), and Paris Commune (The Civilians). His regional credits include Our Town (Almeida Theatre, London, The Kansas
City Repertory Theatre, The Broad Stage, and The Hypocrites), Breath and Imagination and Paris Commune (ArtsEmerson), and many productions in Chicago, including credits with Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Barrel of Monkeys, The Neo-Futurists, The Second City, and Chicago Children's Theatre. Mr. Mastro is the musical director for Emily Bergl (54 Below, Algonquin Oak Room, and Café Carlyle).
Haydn Gwynne (Desiree Armfeldt) is currently filming Disney's live action movie version of Beauty and the Beast. She recently finished the London West End production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award. Last year she played Margaret Thatcher opposite Helen Mirren as the Queen in the original London production of The Audience, now playing on Broadway (WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Actress). Other West End credits includes Queen Elizabeth opposite Kevin Spacey in Richard III (The Old Vic, BAM New York, dir. Sam Mendes), Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot the Musical (West End and Broadway, recipient of Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Theater World Awards for Best Actress, as well as nominations for an Olivier and a Tony Award), and Oolie/Donna in the original London production of City of Angels (Olivier Award nomination). Her film and television credits include Remember Me, The Pleasure Principle, These Foolish Things, Hunky Dory, "Peak Practice," "Merseybeat," and many others.
Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and named Best of Boston 2013 and 2014 by Boston magazine, the Huntington Theatre Company is Boston's leading professional theatre and one of the region's premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.
Photo Credit: Richard Davenport