I can’t imagine a more utterly charming musical than Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s A Little Night Music. Like a bubbly glass of crisp Champagne, even the most middling Night Music waltzes through your senses with delight.
Boho Theatre’s production at The Greenhouse Theater Center is disarmingly straightforward, with a few welcome surprises. Directed by Linda Fortunato, this refreshingly no-frills approach focuses on the human dynamics of the series of mismatched couples as they grapple with love and longing in three-quarter time.
With this approach, perhaps more attention could be paid to the comedy of the play – Hugh Wheeler’s book is rich with moments, many of which Stephanie Stockstill as the dry-witted Charlotte nails with aplomb. However, the relatively young cast seems to either oversell or underplay moments, which makes for a somewhat uneven affair.
As the lead lovers, Kelli Harrington makes for a winning and vivacious Desiree, with Peter Robel convincingly embodying the befuddled and seeking Fredrik. Harrington’s “Send in the Clowns” – the surprise breakout hit from this score – mines the moment for all its worth.
Musically, the score – one of my all-time favorites – is delivered solidly (particularly the quintet that comments on the action), backed by a tight quartet of string-heavy players (music direction by Tom Vendafreddo). And Evan Frank’s efficient scenic design utilizes the Greenhouse’s cozy space to create an airy Swedish rural backdrop.
“A Little Night Music” plays through July 8 at the Greenhouse Theater Center – more info here >