I have always wanted to see Angela Lansbury on stage.
Considering I have missed seeing her in Deuce (with Marian Seldes) and Blithe
Spirit recently, I knew that A Little Night Music might be my last
chance. Add that to a Sondheim show, and how could I not make the trip?
Considering how close NYC is, I am embarrassed by how seldom
I get there. Really embarrassed. I decided to take the Bolt bus, which is
inexpensive ($17 each way). Aside from the front door swinging open on the ride
down (I kid you not, the poor driver had to find a piece of rope and tie it
shut) the trip was uneventful.
I have seen a couple of productions of A Little Night
Music before, and wasn't as big a fan as so many others I knew. Maybe he ennui of the piece didn’t register,
but it did this time. “My happiest mistake, the ache of my life. . .” Who, at
midlife, doesn’t understand the lure of a crazy decision, and dread the
consequences? Fredrik, played by Alexander Hanson, is a bit of a cad. But since
the actor has that thing—you know the thing, that essence that spells troube and makes you
forgive all—his performance is charming. Actually, dreamy is the word.
Much has been said about the scaled down orchestrations for
this production—a spare 8 pieces. I can see it, but since the entire production
transported me, I didn’t mind. The set was interesting, costumes were stunning.
The lights were, at times, a little dark.
And Angela Lansbury. Well this longtime fan was not
disappointed. Her character is pushed around in a wheelchair, and I was
concerned that she was more feeble than the media had let on. Then came the
curtain call, where she bolted up and sprang to the front of the stage. An
inspiration about living with passion.
A Little Night Music was my first show of 2010. A lovely way
to start a new decade.