By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, for SouthFloridaReporter.com, July 12, 2015 – “What fools these mortals be.”
–Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Life is bittersweet marked by rue and romance in which those foolish mortals submit and succumb to the whirling winds of love and lust in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ concert staging of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s glorious A Little Night Music.
Smiles of a Summer Night is the wry title of the 1956 Ingmar Bergman film that Sondheim, Wheeler and Harold Prince used as the basis for their 1973 musical and that’s precisely the tone suffusing this lovingly sung production.
Night Music is arguably the most mainstream and accessible of Sondheim’s work since much of the music is written in lilting ¾ time that pulses with restrained passion and the lyrics are a mixture of wit and wisdom, all built around Wheeler’s deft knowing script that celebrates the folly of ardor-fueled pursuits.
If Into The Woods is a favorite with general audiences andSweeney Todd the favorite of fans of sheer technique and Sunday in the Park With George speaks directly to the creative souls among us, A Little Night Music is Sondheim’s adult musical that echoes feelings best appreciated by those with a few years of hard-won experience in relationships.