I discovered another spelling error in cast names. It’s Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm not Malcom. Ah, well. “Every Day a Little Death.”
On April 3, the Players gathered at the Guild to rehearse the music in A Little Night Music. Under Music Director Paul Abbott of Livonia, the singers went through most of the songs in the show, concentrating on the rough spots and polishing phrasing and timing. The entire cast worked on portions of “The Glamorous Life” and “A Weekend in the Country.” The cast enjoys working with Abbott. He can be a taskmaster.
There are some great voices in the cast. Brett Reynolds who plays Count Malcolm and Tom Murphy who plays Fredrik, both have big voices. They are a good balance for each other. In Act II they sing “It Would Have Been Wonderful,” a song in which they bemoan the fact that their relationships with Desireé would have been wonderful “if she weren’t so awfully perfect.”
In “Every Day a Little Death,” another duet about third parties, Lindsey MacDonald as Anne and Valerie Haas as Charlotte sing about their marriages. Their voices blend beautifully.
“Now,” “Later,” and “Soon” begins as three separate songs and winds up as a musically intricate trio. “Now” is sung by Murphy who, in lawyer-like fashion, tries to figure out how best to consummate his marriage to his virgin wife. “Later,” sung by Michael Suchyta, expresses the frustration of the 18-year-old Henrik as he struggles with his rampant teenaged emotions. In “Soon,” Anne sings about finally coming to Fredrik.
In discussing the trio portion of the number, Murphy said, “It was devilishly difficult to learn, but it’s a lot of fun to sing.”
MacDonald and Suchyta agreed.
Sally Goodman, who plays Desireé, and Murphy spent part of the rehearsal working on “You Must Meet My Wife” and “Send in the Clowns.” Sondheim has always been baffled by the success of “Send in the Clown,” it being Sondheim’s biggest hit to date. Bobby Short heard the song and asked for a copy. He played it in New York where Judy Collins heard it. Her recording of it went to the top of the music charts.
Chelsea Burke plays Petra, Anne’s maid. Petra is a lusty, flirtatious woman. Throughout the show she teases Henrik unmercifully. In Act II, after a fling with Frid (Kerry Plague of Canton) Madame Armfeldt’s butler, she sings the wonderful song, “The Miller’s Son” in which she describes her thoughts about her future saying, “It’s a very short road from the pinch and the punch to the paunch and the pouch and the pension.” Or, as my grandmother used to say, “It’s hell to grow old, Tom.” Good stuff.
The final section of the rehearsal was for Madame Amrfeldt who is played by Diana Reynolds. She worked with Abbott on her big number “Liaisons” in which she tells how her relationships with a variety of men such as the Baron De Signac have been “a pleasurable means to a measurable end.”
It was a good, productive rehearsal. Fun, too.
A Little Night Music opens on Friday, April 26 at The Players Guild of Dearborn. Visit the Guild’s website atplayersguildofdearborn.org for more information and to purchase tickets online.