I thought A Little Night Music was not one of my top Sondheim musicals. Think again, after this production, I’m still humming tunes weeks later. Again, a small theater seating 195, with four musicians (piano, woodwind, violin and viola) center-back, with a cast of 15, all skilled singers. The operetta-like music sways with lyrical waltzes ("Night Waltz"), intricate harmonies ("Remember?") and ensemble numbers ("A Weekend in the Country"). The acting was excellent, to the point that when Desiree and Frederick sang "Send in the Clowns", I felt the poignant frustration of star-crossed lovers.
IMHO Mme. Armfeldt, the dowager mother, who becomes the catalyst for the lovers, was too refined. Over the years, this was a role played by the likes of Hermine Gingold and Elaine Stritch. In 1989, I saw Lila Kedrova in this role in London. She had the age, the panache, the humor, and the gravelly voice to embrace the role.
BoHo will win well-deserved awards for this show. They use all non-Equity performers. In Chicago, that still means the highest of talents who give their hearts to the audience for a pittance. As Ed and I left the theater, there was a BoHo staff member with a bucket for donations. Unbeknownst to each other, we each put in $20. It was that kind of evening. Thank you, BoHo.