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A little night music original production information- Page 5

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imeldasturn
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jv92 said: "All I know is that Grimes was considered for Desiree, and then when Johns became ill durring previews, was considered as a replacement. Johns recovered and Grimes never went on. I don't think she ever played the role, though I'm not entirely sure. "

Apologies if I resuscitate a ten year old thread, but it's such a fascinating read and we were talking about A Little Night Music in the replacements thread. 

Grimes was indeed contacted to replaced Glynis, but the negotiations were slowed by her many demands. Most notably, she objected to Desiree's red dress in the "Send in the clowns" scene, since Grimes was sure that a woman like Desiree would have never worn red in the countryside. Tammy eventually played Madame Armfeldt in Williamstown in 1994, alongside an interesting cast that included Joan Van Ark (Desirée), Ken Howard (Fredrik), Maureen Moore (Charlotte), Brent Barrett (Carl-Magnus) and Marla Schaffel (Anne).

 

 

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David10086
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What a fascinating thread on my favorite musical which needs a revival. Just this week I received my order from Amazon - the DVD and soundtrack CD to the movie ( which isn’t bad). For me, no one can top Jean Simmons as Desiree.
Jarethan
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I think that A Week-end in the Country is one of the greatest numbers in the past 60 years.  it is perfect, weaving in so many characters and perspectives on the benefits and challenges facing the individual characters contemplating a weekend in the country.  Brilliantly written, staged and performed, especially written.  To me it was the highlight of the show.

WhenI think about the Trevor Nunn production, I am grateful that I got to see BP as Desiree and Lansbury AND Stritch as Mme Armfeldt.  I thought that CZJ was fine in the role, certainly glamorous, burt for my money she paled next to BP, whose rendition of Send in the Clowns was the second best I have ever heard, and God knows we have all heard a zillion different interpretations.  For the record, I do think that Johns' version was the most perfect, butI must admit that i do not remember even hearing Jean Simmons, who I would have killed to see.

However, when assessing the weaknesses of that production, it always start with A Weekend.  The staging of that number was positively stupid, although the song remained great.

I saw ALNM on Broadway at least 3 and possibly 4 times in its original run.  Interestingly, I was bored stiff during the first viewing.  That is when I confirmed that i enjoy Sondheim musicals much better if I am already familiar with the music AND LYRICS.  The only exception to that rule is Follies, probably due to the number of pastiche songs.  After listening to the album a number of times, I ventured back and loved it...from then on.  While I thought the Nunn production was mediocre, I still enjoyed all of it, and have thoroughly enjoyed all other versions I have seen.  The Nunn version was the weakest of 7 - 8 different stagings I have seen.

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I saw the original production four times and "Liaisons" always made perfect sense to me.  Madame Armfeldt was not "literally" in Desiree's digs singing a number but commenting on Desiree's situation while drifting through the theatrical shadows (fingering Desiree's raisins, etc.). Why bother with the wheelchair?  Anyone who saw "The Butterfly" in ZORBA or "Too Many Mornings" in FOLLIES already knew Hal Prince was at his best when least literal.

Well-well-well-what-do-you-think-of-that-I-have-nothing-here-to-pay-my-train-fare-with-only-large-bills-fives-and-sevens....
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David10086 said: "What a fascinating thread on my favorite musical which needs a revival. Just this week I received my order from Amazon - the DVD and soundtrack CD to the movie ( which isn’t bad). For me, no one can top Jean Simmons as Desiree."

I own the soundtrack as well. I've heard the DVD is really poorly done (I think the original elements no longer exist, so they had to use the best print they could find).

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David10086 said: "What a fascinating thread on my favorite musical which needs a revival. Just this week I received my order from Amazon - the DVD and soundtrack CD to the movie ( which isn’t bad). For me, no one can top Jean Simmons as Desiree."

The national tour ended at the theater in Florida where I was working in the box office. Miss Simmons came in early every day, so one of my jobs was to unlock the door and escort her backstage. She was thrilling on stage and, in case you care, just as lovely off.

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i saw the original A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC on Broadway in 1973...from that point on, and i have seen many other original Sondheim productions, i have always thought that ALNM was the perfect Sondheim musical...the book, the staging, the cast, and of course the 3/4 waltz-infused score make this musical seamless...i also was lucky to see the touring company with the actress Jean Simmons playing Desiree, in Los Angeles...and being a huge fan of Ms. Simmons, i really loved her portrayal as well as Glynis Johns...

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joevitus said: "David10086 said: "What a fascinating thread on my favorite musical which needs a revival. Just this week I received my order from Amazon - the DVD and soundtrack CD to the movie ( which isn’t bad). For me, no one can top Jean Simmons as Desiree."

I own the soundtrack as well. I've heard the DVD is really poorly done (I think the original elements no longer exist, so they had to use the best print they could find).
"

I first borrowed the DVD from my library about two years ago, and it seemed fine. I finally came across it again on a website for under $10, which is why I bought it (though I haven't watched it yet). 

I know Sondheim mentioned doing this movie over about 15 -20 years ago, and wanted Glenn Close to star.- which would have been extraordinary. Why this never happened, I'll never know. 

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Updated On: 5/23/20 at 01:57 PM
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David10086 said: "joevitus said: "David10086 said: "What a fascinating thread on my favorite musical which needs a revival. Just this week I received my order from Amazon - the DVD and soundtrack CD to the movie ( which isn’t bad). For me, no one can top Jean Simmons as Desiree."

I own the soundtrack as well. I've heard the DVD is really poorly done (I think the original elements no longer exist, so they had to use the best print they could find).
"

I first borrowed the DVD from my library about two years ago, and it seemed fine. I finally came across it again on a website for under $10, which is why I bought it (though I haven't watched it yet).

I know Sondheim mentioned doing this movie over about 15 -20 years ago, and wanted Glenn Close to star.- which would have been extraordinary. Why this never happened, I'll never know.
"

Good to hear. I'm not a great fan of the movie, but--as I'm sure is true for many of us--it was one of my first encounters with Sondheim. Plus it preserves several of the original Broadway performances. I love "Love Takes Time" and the revised "The Glamorous Life," so I'm happy the soundtrack was eventually re-released. 

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devonian.t
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Lovely to hear that about Jean Simmons, Gaveston!