BY GEORGE J. DACRE
Little Radical Theatrics, now in its third year, is made up mostly of 20-something young actors from Rockland and Westchester counties making their way to theatrical careers and “Little Night Music” is no exception.
Last weekend Little Radical performed “Little Night Music” with outstandingly talented actors from Rockland and Westchester counties.
Directed by Michael J. Mirra, the play is set in Sweden at the turn of the century and can only be described as a musical comedy dealing with intriguing love affairs that end up with very interesting results. There are laughs, sex appeal, humor and heart.
Mirra says the play makes the audience cry, laugh and think and that it does so with many surprises and the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical classics including “Send In The Clowns,” “Night Waltz,” “The Miller’s Son,” “Remember,” and “You Must Meet My Wife.” The musical director, Ricky Romano of Stony Point, conducts a six-member orchestra and plays the keyboard.
The cast includes lovely and talented actress Claire Leyden, who plays Anne Egerman, the wife of Frederik (Joey Sanzaro), who has a wandering eye for Desir’ee Armfeldt (Shana Lin). Armfeldt, in turn, has a liaison working with Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm (Ezra Hernadez) whose wife, Countess Charlotte, is suspicious of her husband and Henrik Egerman (David Himmel), son of Fredrik.
Henrik is in love with his stepmother Anne Egerman. Then Petra (Jennifer Silverman) seduces Henrik and Frid (Drew Mollo), who wheels around the elder Madame Armfeldt (Betsey Siverman) who has a caustic tongue. And it goes on like that.
All of this intrigue is marked by the many musical numbers that result in a remarkable musical comedy with wonderful music, acting and activity to fill the night and a most enjoyable performance. As it is set at the turn of the century, the costumes and designed by Markiss Robert and scenic design by Michael J. Mirra do wonders depicting the various romantic encounters that take place.
The story tells of a group who fool around a lot, but it is done in a manner that is just plain fun to witness and results in the audience laughing a lot.
Julia La Verde as stage manager filled the bill with the aid of her crew in making the various changes that were needed for the show. Choreography directed by Jessica Bittner was topflight with many musical numbers included in the production.
Romano handledthe Sondheim-Wheeler score expertly with violinists Victoria Mevs and Frances Macaraig, violist Stef Wu, Celloist and assistant music director Daniel Romano and bass player Jakob Ebers. Mike Okluski, Alexis Ebers, Georgi Simon, Rockland County’s T. Eric Collins and Bryelle Burgus contributed greatly as strolling singers who explained the situations that were developing.
Overall, Little Radical Theatrics’ “Little Night Music” was a fine professional presentation and I rate it three stars out of four.