Arts & Humanities Campus News

UGA Theatre to close season with Sondheim’s ‘A Little Night Music’

Performances of “A Little Night Music” begin April 14. (Submitted photo)

UGA Theatre will present “A Little Night Music” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler.

Directed by Daniel Ellis, performances will be held in the Fine Arts Theatre on April 14-15 and 19-22 at 8 p.m. and April 16 and 23 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 or $12 for students and can be purchased at, by phone at 706-542-4400 or in person at the Performing Arts Center or the Tate Student Center box office.

Since its 1973 Broadway debut and subsequent Tony Award wins for Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical, “A Little Night Music” has been recognized as one of Sondheim’s pivotal works and a classic of musical theater. While working on “Company” in 1970 and “Follies” in 1971, Sondheim and Hal Prince received criticism that these works, both explorations of the difficulties and anxieties of marriage, were cold and overly intellectual. They set out to prove in their third effort that they could also create something simultaneously commercial, lighthearted and adult.

Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film “Smiles of a Summer Night,” the duo developed “A Little Night Music” in 1973, a sophisticated comedy with mismatched couples, love triangles, longing, regret and reconciliation, all under the dusk of the summer solstice. Realizing that the Bergman film was replete with the number three, Sondheim set for himself the challenge of writing the entire score based upon variations of the waltz.

The results of that process birthed a production that is now considered a classic of musical theatre. As the characters’ stories span several generations, from the young to “those who remember,” “A Little Night Music” is an accessible story for everyone. Just as the play’s characters remember the foolishness of their own past, society continues to reevaluate the constructs of love, marriage and identity. “A Little Night Music” holds up a mirror to preconceived notions of these themes in order to find a “coherent existence after so many years of muddle.”

“An exciting part of this process is having a cast featuring students from both the School of Music and the department of theatre and film studies,” said Ellis, academic professional in opera and musical theatre. “While each school focuses on a slightly different approach to the work, the insightful and creative conversations centered around these topics and this work have students connecting and learning from each other.”

In addition to the vocal and acting work, this production also includes a significant amount of dancing, most centered around the Viennese Waltz.

“This show showcases all the immense talent we have here at UGA creating a truly beautiful production,” Ellis said.