Music

Shaw Festival 2008 – Sondheim’s A Little Night Music

Shaw Festival 2008 – Sondheim’s A Little Night Music featured image

Paula Citron
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A Little Night Music
Shaw Festival 2008
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by Morris Panych
Starring Goldie Semple, George Masswohl, Thom Allison and Robin Evans Willis
At the Court House Theatre until Oct. 4
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The Shaw Festival is not having a good year with musicals. A Little Night Music is a flat show despite some excellent performances. Director Morris Panych may be a great man of comedy, but he fails to inject any freshness into this 1973 Sondheim musical. His direction is repetitive and ultimately, uninteresting.

A Little Night Music does, however, work as an intimate show in a small space, but even with a small chamber ensemble, the music is too loud. The all-important five-member chorus has poor collective diction.

The show does spring to life when Patty Jamieson arrives as the Countess, while Donna Belleville gets her laughs as Mme. Armfeldt. Goldie Semple does a lovely job as Desirée. Unfortunately Robin Evan Willis in the key role as Anne can’t project singing and is a weak actress. Everyone else is serviceable because they either over or under act.

A Little Night Music continues at the Court House Theatre until Oct. 4.

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