“A Little Night Music” is dazzling and sophisticated

1. Warren Kimmel, Arinea Hermans, photo by Emily Cooper SMALL

Warren Kimmel and Arinea Hermans. Photography by Emily Cooper

A Little Night Music by Patrick Street Productions is a captivating look into the chaos of love, and why we let ourselves form relationships although we know they’re messy. From the first notes of music to the final tableau, the audience was entranced.

The musical follows Frederik Egerman (Warren Kimmel) and his young wife, Anne (Arinea Hermans). When Frederik runs into an old lover (Katey Wright) at the theatre, a whirlwind of events ensues. Stephen Sondheim’s music is challenging as always, with multiple lines of music continually overlapping as the stories intertwine, but this strong cast handles it flawlessly. Such a well-rounded company is not often found on a Vancouver stage.

Warren Kimmel as Frederik carries the show with ease and grace. His glorious voice soars over the stringed band with feeling. Katey Wright, too, as Desiree Armfeldt, is a standout. Young Elizabeth Irving is a surprising star as Desiree’s daughter, Fredrika Armfeldt, especially in the song “The Glamourous Life”, which was a highlight of Act One.

12. Set & Lighting Design by Alan Brodie, photo by Emily Cooper.jpg

Lighting and Set Design by Alan Brodie, Photograph by Emily Cooper

Alan Brodie’s set design is genius. Translucent curtains divide the space so that the audience can experience multiple stories progressing at once. Director Peter Jorgensen’s integration of additional ensemble members into this small cast musical complements the set. Together, the moving curtains and additional servants create a feeling of fluidity between scenes.

While A Little Night Music is not without its faults, the overall beauty and sincerity of the piece, coupled with perfect comedic moments, makes them irrelevant. In the director’s note, Jorgensen says he wants to offer us a dose of “something right”. Kudos to him for creating a play that provides a coherent moment in the muddling of life.

A Little Night Music runs at Gateway Theatre until October 21st.

For more information and tickets go here.


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