"A Little Night Music" is a Stephen Sondheim musical in waltz time as the characters interweave their steps and their lives. As the twentieth century approaches, Fredrik Egerman is a middle-aged lawyer in Sweden who eleven months ago married a second time to a much younger woman. Anne loves the wealth and buys clothes while still stalling in her marital responsibilities. His son, Henrik, is home from his religious studies and is having difficulties with his commitment to God while balancing life with the household maid, Petra, who is tempting him into sexual liaisons.
When Fredrik takes his wife to the theater, a former love, Desiree, is performing. When Desiree and Fredrik connect their eyes, Anne definitely notices while assuming her own conclusions. When Desiree's lover also becomes involved with this love triangle, he enlists his wife to inform Anne of the relationship.
Five singers dressed in period costumes interweave the story while beautifully reflecting on the actions of the scenes and assisting in transitions. Each of these sang clearly and beautifully. Sean Buster excels with his glorious tenor voice resonating throughout the theater.
This production at the Chanticleer Theater directed by Dwayne Ibsen is a very ambitious production with this cast being accomplished singers. The set is very basic but functional. Costuming including wigs, hats, and parasols is glorious. Each outfit was perfect for the characters showing their own individuality. The sound system balancing a six-piece basic orchestra with trained singers proves a monumental task which is masterfully accomplished along with the lighting crew. With so many phenomenal singers and performers, all are great in developing their character through song.
As Desiree, the actress, D. Laureen Pickle is delightful merging both dialogue with song in "Send in the Clowns". Fredrik Egerman, portrayed by Chris Ebke, showed his maturity with playing this role as a master truly commanding the stage. Petra, portrayed by Kat Jarvis, comically and beautiful sang while constantly flirting. Mark Hinrichs as the Swedish dragoon, Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm demonstrated this dominating role with his character's opinions and his enthralling voice. As Madame Armfeldt, Ruth Rath is wonderful as the wise matriarch enriching lives with such bits of wisdom as, "To lose a husband, or a lover or two during one's lifetime can be vexing - but to lose one's teeth is a catastrophe!"
"A Little Night Music" will continue at Chanticleer Theater through May19th. On Fridays and Saturdays, the show times are 7:30 pm. and at 2 pm. on Sunday. Tickets are $17 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $9 for students. For tickets call (712) 323-9955 or online at chanticleertheater.com. Tickets are also available the day of the shows.
"A Little Night Music" demonstrated that Chanticleer is capable of longer and more demanding musicals in different styles that exhibit the outstanding talents of our local performers.