Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Little Night Music

OK, so I promised to be back and here I am. I am not keeping with the old program as I am just trying to get back in the swing of things. I went to see the Sondheim musical, A Little Night Music at Center Stage last night. I had never been to this venue before and was looking forward to it. Center Stage is located on the fringe of Mt. Vernon, down the hill from the Washington Monument. We had dinner in the neighborhood so it was a pleasant walk and we only had to park once.

Center Stage is an interesting space. There was a strange vibe there and I can't really put my finger on what I mean about it. I guess it may have something to do with the many old people who go there. One of the old guys actually fell forward, tripping on the top step, during intermission. This happened right in front of me and left me quite startled, and also thankful that he had fallen forward and not back, onto me. He needed assistance getting back on his feet but otherwise seemed fine.

The bathroom was very smelly. The layout seems off to me. There was a bar jammed into a closed in space that made me not want to approach it, although I sensed that NJG would have liked that. There are some mod looking seats by the front entrance. I guess I would like a more open floor plan as I am accustomed to at the other venues around town. The theater is small, I liked it. They sure to fit a lot of instruments and musicians in a tiny orchestra pit. The seating was very good with plenty of leg room and personal space.

The performers wore tiny headsets, barely noticeable, even from the first row. The sound system was very good. They got the balance between the live orchestra and the performers just right. The performance was so good. I love this kind of thing. I thought it was top rate. The acting and singing was wonderful, the costumes were pretty good and the scenery was good too. I always marvel at how they can rearrange furniture and other props while continuing the action and it is in no way distracting. They did a great job of that.

I really liked the actress who portrayed Charlotte, the cynical, long-suffering wife of a philandering, hot-tempered husband. I thought she played it just right, but all of them did.

I had never seen this musical before, never even heard of it. Now I know where that "Send in the Clowns" song comes from. The performance is at Center Stage through the 13th, but I believe all performances are sold out.

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