Amy Irving and Ron Raines
in A Little Night Music
(© Ken Howard / OTSL)
Amy Irving and Ron Raines in A Little Night Music
(© Ken Howard / OTSL)
Amy Irving, Siân Phillips, and Ron Raines have opened in the Opera Theatre of St. Louis' production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's A Little Night Music. Directed and designed by Isaac Mizrahi, the production continues through June 19.

In addition to Irving (Desiree Armfeldt), Phillips (Madame Armfeldt), and Raines (Frederik Egerman), the company features Christopher Herbert (Henrik Egerman), Amanda Squitieri (Anne Egerman), Lee Gregory (Carl-Magnus Malcolm), Erin Holland (Charlotte Malcolm), Vivian Krich-Brinton (Fredrika Armfeldt), Candra Savage (Petra), Aaron Agulay (Mr. Lindquist), Lauren Jelencovich (Mrs. Nordstrom), Corinne Winters (Mrs. Anderssen), and Mark Van Arsdale (Mr. Erlanson).

The creative team also includes Michael Chybowski (lighting), Tom Watson (wigs/make-up), and Seán Curran (choreography).

Initial reviews have begun to appear and Mizrahi's design for the musical is receiving glowing notices. So too are performers Raines and Phillips, while Irving's work in the piece has garnered a mixed reaction.

Among the reviews are:

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Opera Theatre's A Little Night Music doesn't quite sing
"Mizrahi's set design -- a grass-floored forest filled with climb-able oaks and spring flowers, with fairies clad in Victorian underwear and little gold wings -- is both visually appealing and practical, with a door, dresser, table and other pieces moved in and out as needed. His gowns, especially in the final scenes, are gorgeous, although at other times the sight of proper Victorian ladies running around in their corsets and petticoats was disconcerting."

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"As Fredrik, baritone Ron Raines gave an exemplary performance in his singing and acting, and he has fine presence. Veteran actress Siân Phillips' Madame Armfeldt held the stage effortlessly and dropped her bon mots strategically, for maximum effect. Soprano Vivian Krich-Brinton, a Gerdine Young Artist, was a startlingly believable, very appealing pre-teen Fredrika."

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"As Desiree, the character around whom the others revolve, Amy Irving looked absolutely stunning. She lacked presence, though; her speaking voice was gravelly and aged-sounding, and her singing range was too limited for even the minor demands of this role."

St. Louis Beacon
Maestro Mizrahi designs a marvelous Night Music
"Sunday evening, he brought "A Little Night Music," a classic of the American musical theater, to the Loretto Hilton Center stage. And he brought it along with such authority one would assume he'd been directing and designing the décor and costumes for operas for years."

KFUO-FM
Review: A Little Night Music
"[Mizrahi's] delightful forest setting for the musical is perfect. Large trees on a stage that's covered with grass and flowers while the traditional singers of Sondheim's masterpiece have been transformed into woodland fairies complete with small wings. [...] It's an ethereal concept that works exceedingly well."

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"It's truly an evening of shining stars with a delightfully charming Sian Phillips as Madame Armfeldt - who brings a touching rendition of "Liaisons" to life - and Broadway great Ron Raines as Fredrik. The cast continues strong throughout with Amanda Squitieri as a wide-eyed Anne, Christopher Dylan Herbert as a moody Henrik and Lee Gregory as the properly pompous Carl-Magnus."

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"[Irving] sweeps the audience off their feet with her strong interpretation of this very strong woman."

For further information, visit: www.opera-stl.org.