Wednesday, July 07, 2010


"Don't you love farce?"

That's the question posed in "Send in the Clowns," the best-known song from Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music," which I am currently directing. The show opens July 16. The next ten days are about putting the bits and pieces together into a cohesive, stylish whole.

The bits and pieces include plenty of farce: a cuckolded older man, a jealous pea-brained lover tripping on his trousers, a scorned wife, earthy lovers, young stupid romantics, and a schemer whose plots work despite her best efforts, not because of them. Yet the characters, even the ones we thought several weeks ago were kind of shallow show unexpected depth when confronted with their own foolishness.

Partly this is a choice made in this production--to consider the possibility that people change and learn, rather than stage a cynical ending and assume that the character's lives will go on as screwed-up as before but with new partners.  Partly this is the poetry of the show, the summer night smiling on God's creatures in need of grace. And it's very much the music: despite a great deal of dissonance and uncertainty about tonal centers all the way through the second act, the show ends with a solo violin's upward winding scale resolving into major-key tonality in the last chord.

I can't wait.

Tuesday's Child presents
Stephen Sondheim's
"A Little Night Music"
July 16-18, 23-25
Tickets online

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