Gateway Theatre’s 2017 / 2018 season got underway this week with a lavish performance of Stephen Sondheim’s classic A Little Night Music.
A co-presentation with Patrick Street Productions, and directed by Peter Jorgensen, the Tony award winning musical is set in Sweden at the turn of the last century. A tale of romance and class structure, as characters deal with forbidden lust, infidelity, long-lost loves, jealousy and reminisce about past liaisons. Through the characters’ trials and tribulations of love Jorgensen lets the comedy of the situations shine through. The director took inspiration from Ingmar Bergman, the director of the source film of the musical, Smiles of Summer Night, finding comedy in tragedy. Patrick Street Productions and Jogensen have added their modern touch to the show with hints of sexual fluidity in the maid Petra’s character.
Led by the always dependable Warren Kimmel as Fredrick Egerman, and Katey Wright as Desiree Armfeldt, who both have the acting and musical talents to all eyes on them when they’re onstage. The cast also included stand-out turns from Arinea Hermans and Caleb Di Pomponio as Fredrick’s virgin (2nd) bride and his angst-ridden son, Henrick. Nick Fontaine’s Count Carl-Magnus and Lindsay Warnock as his put-upon wife, Countess Charlotte provide scenery chewing comedy performances. Young Elizabeth Irving displays talent beyond her years as Desiree’s daughter, Fredricka. The capable ensemble rounds out the cast, making the performance light and breezy, in spite of its 2.5 hour run time. Coming towards the end of the show, the musical gets late energy boost from the famed Send In The Clowns. Throughout the show, Sondheim’s music, and Hugh Wheeler’s book, share the storytelling duties effortlessly. Alan Brodie’s simple set and lighting design help to highlight Jessica Bayntun’s lush, period costumes.
Find your own reasons to love and laugh as A Little Night Music continues at Gateway Theatre until October 21st.