Penn State Centre Stage presents 'A Little Night Music'

October 24, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Centre Stage will present Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's "A Little Night Music," directed by Phillip Fazio, music direction by Dan Riddle, and choreography by J. Austin Eyer, Nov. 5–15, at the Playhouse Theatre, on the University Park campus.

Set at the turn of the last century, "A Little Night Music" interweaves a tangled web of former and current lovers among the upper crust elite of Sweden. Esteemed lawyer Fredrik Egerman has recently married an innocent young woman, Anne, with whom his son, Henrik, has also fallen madly in love. Fredrik’s dedication to his blushing bride is tested when he reunites with a former flame, the famed (and fading) actress Desirée Armfeldt. Things grow more complicated when her jealous (and married) lover Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm gets wind of the reunion. The coupling and uncoupling comes to a head when Desirée convinces her mother to host Fredrik and his family for a weekend on her lavish country estate — and the count, with wife in tow, crashes the party.

"A Little Night Music" won five Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards, and a Grammy for the song, “Send in the Clowns.” Dramaturg and Penn State Theatre student Freddie Miller said, "Sondheim explains the imagery depicted in 'Send in the Clowns' as an allusion to a theatre reference meaning ‘if the show isn't going well, let's send in the clowns’; in other words, ‘let's do the jokes.’” The song itself can be viewed as a metaphor for show producer Harold Prince and Stephen Sondheim’s career as well: Prince and Sondheim could not afford another flop and truly took a gamble with "A Little Night Music." Relying on the humor and wit to win over audiences, Prince and Sondheim sent in the clowns and wound up with their biggest success.

Performances are evenings at 7:30 p.m.: $25; preview at 7:30 p.m. and matinee at 2 p.m.: $20; and students: $12.50. For additional show information, visit www.theatre.psu.edu. Tickets are available at Penn State Tickets Downtown, Eisenhower Box Office, Bryce Jordan Center, or by calling (814) 863-0255 or (800) ARTS-TIX. Save 10 percent when you buy tickets to four or more shows.

Last Updated October 24, 2019