The Indiana Repertory Theatre typically shies away from musicals, depending instead of dramatic plays for the majority of its productions. But when the theater decides to do one it holds nothing back! Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music is on the IRT’s Main Stage through the middle of February and the sheer scale of the undertaking is impressive. There’s a large cast, decadent costumes, incredible voices, and a live orchestra performing the score beneath the stage. The cast even includes Sylvia McNair, a Grammy-award-winning performer.
The stage is set with lines of thin birch trees, giving an added depth to the stage. The elaborate period costumes include piles of tiaras and beautiful jewelry to compliment the men’s tuxes and ladies’ evening gowns. The show itself is a reflection on love and the odd pairings it sometimes creates. It’s a bit like a French farce blended with an operetta, quick witty dialogue and humor balancing the characters’ heartbreak and loneliness.
Fredrik is a newly married man with a young bride. He can’t help but reminisce about an old flame, Desiree, when she performs in his town. The pair is beautifully matched, both in their humor and time in life. James Rank’s performance as Fredrik was one of the best in the show, portraying both a bemused gentleman and a confused lover. The duo has a chorus of memories haunting their steps and whispering bits from their pasts in their ears.
To complicate things, Desiree is involved with a married man whose wife and lost her patience with her philandering husband. Jacquelynne Fontaine plays the wonderfully droll scorned wife, Countess Charlotte Malcolm; her sarcastic wit barely masking her desire for her husband to return her affection.
The musical offers a sweet look at love from the point of view of both the elderly and the young; one is so full of regret and wisdom and the other so full of hope and innocence. Shows of this caliber aren’t available everyday, so while it runs a bit long at near 3 hours, it’s still a delight.
Don't Miss the Show
The Indiana Repertory Theatre is located at 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, one-half block west of the Circle Center Mall between northbound Illinois St. and southbound Capitol Ave. “A Little Night Music" runs until Sunday, Feb. 17 on IRT's Main Stage. Times for performances can be found at www.irtlive.com or by calling the IRT box office at (317) 635-5252. To purchase tickets call (317) 635-5252 or order online at www.irtlive.com
*Photos courtesy of Zach Rosing