A little night music original production information

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I just saw the revival of A Little Night Music Wednesday night. The show is splended, and seeing the revival really sparked my interest of the original production.

Does anybody have rare facts, information, or photos theyre willing to share (everyone talks about how superb the design was, so costume or set pictures would be wonderful).

I'll take the wind and soar.
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<--------- Some rare photos
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ive certainly noticed those ljay! thank you so much
I'll take the wind and soar.
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A little night music original production information

some more

A little night music original production information
A little night music original production information
A little night music original production information
A little night music original production information
Updated On: 1/8/10 at 09:48 PM
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And more can be found here (including pictures of Margaret Hamilton as Madame Armfeldt!)

http://stephenaaronmosher.blogspot.com/2009/12/little-night-music.html
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this is exactly why i come to the boards to find information. thanks so much ljay!
I'll take the wind and soar.
Updated On: 1/8/10 at 10:21 PM
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These photos are wonderful, ljay. Wow.
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There are more pictures of Florence Klotz's beautiful costumes than there are of Boris Aronson's breathtaking set, but if you can get your hands on a coffee-table book called "The Theatre Art of Boris Aronson" (with text by Frank Rich and Lisa Aronson, there are 13 plates in b&w and color dedicated to Night Music.

They include large color photographs and pictures Aronson used in his research, including a photograph of the kind of white birch trees Aronson remembered from growing up in northern Russia:
A little night music original production information
He wanted to make those trees move in a non-literal way, and he found his inspiration in a surrealistic Magritte painting called "Blank Signature" of a woman on horseback seeming to disappear between trees in a forest that inspired the panels of birch trees that moved effortlessly back and forth across the stage, dissolving one scene into the next.

A little night music original production information

So everything took place amid surrealist white trees. Add to those white trees Klotz's many sumptuous white and beige costumes and the whole world was a white-on-white depiction of the Scandinavian "white nights"...until the dinner party, which exploded in color, especially Desiree's red dress.

There are three large color panels in the Aronson book that show the magnificence of the physical production: The first shows the two cars arriving in front of Mme. Armfeldt's "family manse" at the beginning of Act Two.

The second shows the woods, with house peeking through.

A little night music original production information

The third shows the dinner party scene. The house was not literal, it was suggested by a long table set among the birch trees, with the backdrop of the exterior of the mansion way upstage. Mme. Armfeldt sat at the center, backed by her "tiny Titian": a huge monumental tapestry, based on themes from Titian, that went from floor to ceiling. It was Aronson's little joke, because he knew that there ARE no "tiny" Titians.

Aronson said that he saw the scene itself "as a Titian, full of dark, rich colors."


Updated On: 1/9/10 at 10:32 PM
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good god paljoey im in awe right now i never imagined somebody would be able to supply me with information such as yours! THANK YOU!
I'll take the wind and soar.
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1970s Sondheim was my teenage obsession. As I've posted here before, I saw Company 4 times when I was 14, Follies 5 times when I was 15 and Night Music 6 times when I was 17.

Almost everyone of my friends and family I brought to Company and Follies hated them and pitied me for being so obsessed.

But everyone liked Night Music. The performances were all superb, the physical production (as you can see from ljay's and my pictures) was stunning, and the music was gorgeous and effortlessly witty. It also seemed more accessible than Follies or Company, because the point of view was not as cynical.

But the one thing you can't see is how beautifully the production moved. The staging, by Hal Prince and Patricia Birch, and Aronson's clear panels seemed to glide by, in waltz time, like the night music.
Updated On: 1/9/10 at 11:02 PM
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These are bad cellphone shots from the book pages, but here are the two cars arriving:

A little night music original production information

And here is the dinner-party scene (sorry--it's horribly washed out):
A little night music original production information

That's the divine Patricia Elliott on the right...and the "tiny Titian" above Hermione Gingold.

I'll try to get better scans of the pictures.
Updated On: 1/8/10 at 11:14 PM
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its easy to see why you love ALNM so much the show is pretty flawless, i must say (and again, THANK YOU for those awesome shots, the cell phone pics are fine I dont want you to go through the trouble of uploading good ones)

my next question then is have you seen the revival yet (i cant remember if I saw you posting about the review boards or not) if so what did you think? being such a fan of the show and the original production Im so interested to hear your opinions.
I'll take the wind and soar.
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No, you're not.
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I'm not what? Interested in your opinions? Of course I am! Keep in mind I loved the SHOW not necessarily the production, so if youre worried Id be taken aback by a negative review thats not the case by any means. I am genuinely intrigued to hear what somebody has to say with such knowledge of the original production.
I'll take the wind and soar.
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It was Aronson's little joke, because he knew that there ARE no "tiny" Titians.

I'm not really an art historian, so I didn't know that! But it also seems to support the theory that the "tiny Titian" is Desiree.
When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad
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One theory that I came up with during a script analysis class in college concerning that "tiny Titian." A Titian was also used at one point to describe somebody with red hair. Put Desiree in a wig that has any kind of red-tones to it, and you now have Madame Armfeldt talking about her own daughter, not a painting.
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Updated On: 1/8/10 at 11:55 PM
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The Aronson book is one of my favorites, I have found 2 copies in odd bookstores, I saw the original 3 times, the moving trees were incredible.
<<<<< is also from that book.

Wasn't there some controversy about the design of the trees with Aronson's assistants?
They would have no case because Aronson was certainly one of if not the finest Scenic Artist of his time.

Glynis Johns was one of those special artists who used her beauty and quirky voice to the max. She had All the qualities and age experience for the role, Cariou kept right up with her and Elliot was heart breaking through that cold mannered facade.
Every Actor/Actress were so part of a piece and added their own moments, I remember the way Beth Fowler used her pinkie as she sang,
the details were so precise.
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"I'm not really an art historian, so I didn't know that! But it also seems to support the theory that the "tiny Titian" is Desiree."

"One theory that I came up with during a script analysis class in college concerning that "tiny Titian." A Titian was also used at one point to describe somebody with red hair. Put Desiree in a wig that has any kind of red-tones to it, and you now have Madame Armfeldt talking about her own daughter, not a painting."

Which only proves the uselessness of a college education.

I've never read such utter nonsense in my life. "Put Desiree in a wig?" Now, THERE'S a leap I'm certain neither Wheeler nor Sondheim anticipated. Especially since the entire POINT of Liaisons is the practical, business-like transactions of the carnal affairs of a COURTESAN compared to the romantic follies of a less worldly generation. Where do you people get this junk?

And, by the way, Aronson's design wasn't entirely successful. The birch trees, painted on panels of plexiglass or some such material, rolled rather noisily in their tracks, and they reflected the lights hung on the batten.


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Then you must have seen the show in Boston, Miss Sourpuss, because after Boston they replaced the metal tracks with old-fashioned wooden tracks, along which the panels moved noiselessly.

Now, begone, you wicked old witch, before someone drops a family manse on you.
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Especially since the entire POINT of Liaisons is the practical, business-like transactions of the carnal affairs of a COURTESAN compared to the romantic follies of a less worldly generation. Where do you people get this junk?

So you can only get pregnant through romantic sex? This is an exciting theory.
When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad
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What does getting pregnant have ANYTHING to do with Liaisons? Stop projecting your own overheated theory, givesmevoice.

You're wrong, PalJoey. They trundled, sometimes effecively, sometimes not. Listen to any live recording of the original production and it's apparent.



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The tiny Titian = Desiree theory would mean that the Duke of Ferrara was Desiree's father. Obviously you're not the sort of person who enjoys reading into and discussing the meanings of songs. It's so much easier just to be unnecessarily rude.
When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad
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Ljay and PJ thanks for the photos and the info. This is the reason i joined the board ages ago, to learn about the shows that I wish I could have been alive to see but alas was not.
<------ Me and my friends with patti Lupone at my friends afterparty for her concert with audra mcdonald during the summer of 07.
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Assorted Ramblings:

If I recall correctly, there's a great story about Hermione Gingold's audition. She was explaining to Sondheim and company how much she had in common with her character, meaning the age and whatnot, and then she pointed out how Armfeldt's wig slumps a bit at the end of Liasons, to which Hermione responded by taking her wig off revealing she was completely bald.

You can also hear page turns on the original cast album if you listen closely enough, and the great French horn part at the end of Weekend is from an opera, Der Rosenkavalier.

The original production had its first preview the day of the Vietnam ceasefire, which Len Cariou announced to the crowd.

Also, the original Anne (Victoria Mallory) married the original Henrik (Mark Lambert) and their daughter is now in the current production.

And finally, no matter how much you try, liasons and raisins does not now nor will it ever rhyme.

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Thank you all so much for sharing - what a great thread.

Here's A Weekend in the Country from the original 1975 London production:

A little night music original production information

I believe the shading of the costumes was changed from beige to ice blue in the journey across the Atlantic - why I don't know.