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UB Theatre & Dance presents 'A Little Night Music'

by jmaloni
Fri, Feb 4th 2011 01:00 pm

The University at Buffalo Department of Theatre & Dance will present "A Little Night Music" from Wednesday, March 2, through Sunday, March 6, in the Black Box Theatre, located at the Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo North Campus. Performance times are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. The musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, will be presented in a production with newly designed and executed sets, lights, and costumes.

"A Little Night Music" was suggested by the Ingmar Bergman film "Smiles of a Summer Night." The musical, which includes the world famous song, "Send in the Clowns," won six 1973 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones won a Tony Award in 2010 for her performance in the show's Broadway revival.

Set in Sweden, the comedy revolves around mismatched characters as they seek to make order out of their muddled personal lives. Harold Prince described the show as "whipped cream with knives." Sondheim said that he wanted the "whole show to have a perfumed quality." The show is alternately about desire, "perpetual anticipation," elegance, and champagne bubbles.

UB Director of Music Theatre Nathan R. Matthews will direct the production. Matthews served on the music staff for Broadway's celebration of "Stephen Sondheim's 75th Birthday, Children and Art," at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City. The University of London invited him to present his research on Sondheim at its symposium, "Stephen Sondheim: collaborator and auteur." His work has appeared in the Sondheim Review and will also be featured in the upcoming book, "A Handbook of Sondheim Studies."

The founding producing artistic director of the Riverside Opera Ensemble in New York City and a former member of the music staff of the Santa Fe Opera, Matthews has collaborated on Broadway and across North America with artists such as Dixie Carter, Malcolm Gets, Mark Hamill and Anne Hathaway. In Western New York, he has also music directed at the Irish Classical Theatre Company ("A Man of No Importance"), Musicalfare ("Sweeney Todd"), Kavinoky Theatre ("Glorious!"), and at Artpark ("Smokey Joe's Café").

Nancy Townsend, a UB clinical assistant professor of music theatre, will music direct/conduct the production. Townsend has worked nationwide as a musician. Her credits include work as pianist with the Metropolitan Opera National Council for 25 years and work as a conductor, director or pianist in many venues including the Erie Opera Theatre, Artpark, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Greater Buffalo Opera and El Paso Opera.

Students in the Music Theatre B. F.A. degree program comprise the cast for "A Little Night Music."

Tickets for "A Little Night Music" are $18 for the general public and $10 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available at the Center Box Office (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and all Ticketmaster locations (including ticketmaster.com). To charge tickets, call 1-800-745-3000; in Canada, call 1-416-870-8000. For more information, call 645-2787. Students (of any school) must present valid student ID at the Center Box Office to receive a discount.

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