‘A Little Night Music’ opens new season for the Denver Center Theater Company

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Photo by Amanda Tipton Photography - provided by DCTC
The cast of “A Little Night Music.”

A story about extramarital affairs involving an actress, a lawyer, and a European Count might sound like a new reality TV show, but it's actually the plot of a romantic musical farce called “A Little Night Music.” 

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler, “A Little Night Music” was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s 1955 film “Smiles of a Summer Night.”

When selecting a show to open the Denver Center Theater Company’s season, Artistic Director Chris Coleman said he always has to look beyond the current Broadway hits, since the touring productions come to the Buell. 

“We have the kind of luxury of looking for projects that are a little more unusual for our audience to get to experience,” said Coleman, “and with Sondheim's passing, this kind of came front of mind. And it's just such gorgeous music and such a delicious story.” 

Coleman has longed to produce “A Little Night Music” for twenty years, but this production is actually his first chance to see it on stage. 

Photo by Amanda Tipton Photography - provided by DCTC
The cast of "A Little Night Music."

“It's surprisingly funny, and I don't know that I even realized that when I was studying it in the room. It's surprisingly funny and quite sexy.” Coleman said. “And I personally think it is with Sweeney Todd, his very best.”

Coleman said he thinks the Bergman film inspired Sondheim to set a personal challenge for himself and try to write something that feels and sounds like a European operetta. 

“If you're thinking about European operetta set in 1900, then you're really thinking about the Viennese School of Classical Music,” Coleman added. “I think he probably said to himself, ‘I can't write in anything but three in this score’ and see what comes of that challenge you set in front of yourself.”

"A Little Night Music" plays at the DCTC through Oct. 8.  

Editor's Note: The Denver Center Theater Company is a financial supporter of CPR, but has no editorial influence.