View Our Facebook PageView Our Facebook PageView Our Facebook Page
Your Guide to Cultural
Arts in America
Art Museums, Theater, Dance
& Music Happenings in 90+ Cities!
or go to
Arts America Blogs

A Little Night Music In Concert

Old love is rekindled, young love is awakened, and foolish romantic escapades intertwine in Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s A Little Night Music In Concert, opening Friday, July 10th (8pm) at Palm Beach Dramaworks. This concert presentation, which runs through July 19th at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre, is directed by Lynnette Barkley, with musical direction by Kevin David Thomas. 

A Little Night Music, suggested by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, is a bittersweet confection about the follies of love. The original production, produced and directed by Harold Prince, opened on Broadway on February 25, 1973, played 601 performances, and was the recipient of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Sondheim won for Best Original Score, and Wheeler for Best Book.    

The musical came on the heels of Company and Follies, and Sondheim and Prince surprised Broadway by turning their attentions from the contemporary, urban, neurotic world they had explored so ambitiously in those shows to create a sophisticated, edgy fairy-tale operetta set in Sweden at the turn of the twentieth century. This bittersweet confection features some of Sondheim’s most gorgeous melodies and pungent lyrics, and includes his best-known song, “Send in the Clowns.”  Virtually the entire score is written in multiples of three-quarter time – most fitting for a show about romantic triangles – recalling not the cheery tunes of waltz king Johann Strauss, but the darker melodies of Maurice Ravel.  

The original production starred Glynis Johns as Desirée Armfeldt, an actress who is reunited with her former lover, Fredrik Egerman, after many years apart; Len Cariou as Egerman, a widower now wed to a much younger wife who is unwilling to consummate the marriage; and Hermoine Gingold as Madame Armfeldt, a wealthy ex-courtesan and mother of Desirée. Other notable Desirées include Jean Simmons (original London production), Sally Ann Howes (New York City Opera), Elizabeth Taylor (1978 film), and Catherine Zeta-Jones followed by Bernadette Peters (2009 Broadway revival).  

A Little Night Music is the first of two musicals to be presented in concert by PBD this summer. 110 in the Shade, with music by Harvey Schmidt, lyrics by Tom Jones, and a book by N. Richard Nash based on his play The Rainmaker, follows from August 14 – 23. All musicals in concert are performed with limited instrumental accompaniment and minimal staging and design. These full-length presentations include both the score and the book.  

A Little Night Music will play 14 performances, including a specially priced preview on Thursday, July 9th.  Evening performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8pm; matinees are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2PM.  All tickets are $42.00. The Don & Ann Brown Theatre is located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, at 201 Clematis Street.  Palm Beach Dramaworks is a non-profit, professional theatre and is a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the South Florida Theatre League, Southeastern Theatre Conference, Florida Professional Theatres Association, Florida Theatre Conference, and the Palm Beach County Cultural Council For ticket information contact the box office at (561) 514-4042 Ext. 2, or visit  Summer box office hours are 10AM to 5PM Monday through Friday. During the run of a production the box office opens at 10AM Monday through Saturday and 11AM Sunday and stays open through intermission.