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Volume 23, No. 5       October 16, 2000
 

Ithaca College Theatre to Present ‘A Little Night Music’

The Tony Award–winning musical A Little Night Music, by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, will mark the final directing effort of longtime Ithaca College theater professor Earl McCarroll. The production, the first of two musicals slated for the Ithaca College Theatre 2000–2001 season, will also feature an appearance by frequent McCarroll colleague LaVerne Light.

Performances in the Hoerner Theatre will run October 26–28 and October 31– November 2, with a preview on Wednesday, October 25. Performance times will be 8:00 p.m., with a Saturday matinee on October 28 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets go on sale Monday, October 23, with prices ranging from $3.50 to $9.00. The box office is open from noon to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, in Dillingham Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets and information, call 274-3224. Discounts for groups of 15 or more are available by calling 274-3796.

Hugh Wheeler wrote the book and Stephen Sondheim provided the music and lyrics for a musical that has been described as an intoxicating fairy tale for adults.

"Overwhelming and lushly romantic and so smartly cynical," wrote New York Post critic Clive Barnes. "There is very real sophistication and considerable depth. Yet the real triumph belongs to Sondheim. The music is a celebration of 3/4 time, an orgy of plaintive memorable waltzes, all talking of past loves and lost worlds."

Based on Smiles of a Summer Night, a film by Ingmar Bergman, A Little Night Music is a sophisticated but at the same time charming period comedy that applies razor-sharp intelligence in portraying its characters’ unarticu-lated desires. Although set in turn-of-the-century Sweden, the musical explores contemporary themes: sex, the free expression of desire, self-awareness, chastity, and fidelity in marriage. Sondheim’s score, which includes "Send in the Clowns" and "A Weekend in the Country," brilliantly magnifies the tensions that are created when an odd assortment of six mismatched lovers spend a weekend together in the country. With remarkable dexterity and acumen, Sondheim uses the musical form of the waltz as metaphor for the triangles created by the ever-changing liaisons among husbands, wives, mistresses, and innocents.

The original Broadway production opened in February 1973 at the Shubert Theatre and ran for 19 months. The play received five Tony Awards: best musical, best music and lyrics, best book, best actress in a musical (Glynis Johns), and best supporting actress in a musical (Patricia Elliott).

McCarroll, who will retire from the faculty at the end of the current academic year, has been a member of the Actors’ Equity Association since 1964. He has acted in or directed 49 productions of Shakespeare in venues ranging from Colorado to Maine, and he appeared on Broadway as Chaucer in Canterbury Tales. Locally he has appeared in productions by Ithaca College, Cornell University, Ithaca Opera, and the Hangar and Kitchen Theatres. He has also served as artistic director of the State Shakespeare Theatre in Monmouth, Maine. McCarroll has been a faculty member at the College for more than 20 years.

The appearance of LaVerne Light will also distinguish the Ithaca College production. Light, a longtime performer and educator who graduated from the College in 1942, will appear as Madame Armfeldt. An Actors’ Equity Association guest artist, Light has enjoyed a career performing for the stage, screen, radio, and television. In Ithaca she appeared as Grandma in the Hangar Theatre production of Lost in Yonkers and at the Kitchen Theatre in the acclaimed production of Road to Mecca. She has appeared on the stage with McCarroll and under his direction.

Other cast members include Kevin Rockower ’02 as Fredrick, Kathryn Kozlowski ’02 as Anne, Gretchen Leigh Foulk ’01 as Desiree, Brandon Andrus ’02 as Carl-Magnus, and Amy Downing ’04 as Charlotte.

In addition to McCarroll, the artistic team is composed of stage manager Alison Harma ’01, choreographer Mary Corsaro, musical director Patrick Hansen, costume designer Greg Robbins, scenic designer Sergio Villegas ’01, sound designer TJ McEvoy, and lighting designer Chris Daly ’01.

 

 
 

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Andrejs Ozolins, Ithaca College Office of Publications. 27. Oct. 2000