2010 NYC - Fandrick's Vacation - Album #11.

                                                Last revised: November 12, 2011                                                                                


Broadway Show #2.

64th Tony Awards - (June 13, 2010) - Radio City Music Hall, NYC


WON 1 TONY AWARD:

                  

1. BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
   
(Catherine Zeta-Jones)

 

Academy Award–winner Catherine Zeta-Jones and five-time Tony Award®–winner Angela Lansbury star in the first Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Tony Award–winning masterpiece A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, directed by Tony Award®-winner Trevor Nunn.

When we arrived at the Walter Kerr Theatre we were informed that an understudy, Jayne Paterson would be filling in for Catherine Zeta-Jones, and we could exchange tickets for another performance.

We wanted to see Angela Lansbury, and were flying home tomorrow and Jayne Paterson did an excellent job as Desiree.

Based on Ingmar Bergman's film, Smiles of a Summer Night, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC is a witty and urbane musical set in waltz time. The play is set in Sweden at the turn of the 20th century. The show opens with a prologue, introducing the Liebeslieder Singers, who blend fragments of the songs from throughout the play. The other characters enter, engaged in a waltz, but all are uncomfortable with their partners. After the dance, the aging and severe Madame Armfeldt (Angela Lansbury) and her solemn granddaughter, Fredrika, enter. Mme Armfeldt tells the child that the summer night "smiles" three times: first on the young, second on fools, and third on the old. Fredrika vows to watch the smiles occur.

The action takes place in a weekend country house in turn-of-the-century Sweden, where surprising liaisons, long-simmering passions and a taste of love’s endless possibilities are all brought to light.

The musical includes the popular song "Send in the Clowns".

Since its original 1973 Broadway production, the musical has enjoyed professional productions in  London and elsewhere, and it is a popular choice for regional groups. It was adapted for the movies in 1977 - starring Elizabeth Taylor, Len Cariou, Lesley-Anne Down and Diana Rigg.

 

Angela Lansbury is one of Karen's favorite actresses and she
probably watched every TV episode of "Murder She Wrote". So, needless to say, she loved this show.
                


"Send In The Clowns"

The show's best-known and Sondheim's biggest hit song was almost an afterthought, written several days before the start of out of town tryouts. Sondheim initially conceived Desiree (Catherine Zeta-Jones) as a role for a more-or-less non-singing actress.

When he discovered that the original Desiree, Glynis Johns, was able to sing (she had a "small, silvery voice") but could not "sustain a phrase", he devised the song "Send in the Clowns"  for her in a way that would work around her vocal weakness, e.g., by ending lines with consonants that made for a short cut-off. "It is written in short phrases in order to be acted rather than sung...tailor-made for Glynis Johns, who lacked the vocal power to sustain long phrases."[

In analyzing the text of the song, Max Cryer wrote that it "is not intended to be sung by the young in love, but by a mature performer who has seen it all before. The song remains an anthem to regret for unwise decisions in the past and recognition that there's no need to send in the clowns-they're already here."


What a fun evening at a Broadway theatre. Anyone planning a trip to New York City should always attend at least one show. We were fortunate to be able to see two. Day-of-show tickets available at TKTS place in Times Square. (Look for the Big Red Steps). Of course, you can also get tickets at the theatres or Online if there's a particular show you want to see.

Walking back to our hotel, again through Times Square

we observed fun things happening and more 24/7 'people-watching'. Even Spider Man himself -- (see our next and last Webpage).


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Last revised: November 12, 2011

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