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Sondheim musical closes out PMMF

July 12, 2012
By ZACH KUKKONEN - Features Editor/DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - The Pine Mountain Music Festival gets a fitting send-off this weekend, with a pair of performances of "A Little Night Music," the famed Stephen Sondheim musical.

Entwined with the PMMF's theme of "It's All About Love," "A Little Night Music" focuses on love, intrigue, heartache and reconciliation.

"We wanted to end with this piece," said PMMF Artistic Director Joshua Major. "It supports our theme, it's a big cast and it's a nice way to end."

"A Little Night Music" continues where the PMMF opera "Cosi fan tutte" left off, as the characters are dealing with the same issues, only now they are a bit older.

"In 'A Little Night Music,' people are further down the road still asking the same questions and struggling with the ability to love," Major said. "It's a nice bookend, as the two operas together thematically are very interesting."

Based on Ingmar Bergman's film, "Smiles of a Summer Night," Sondheim's musical is set in a weekend country house in turn-of-the-century Sweden, according to a press release. Wit and romance ensue as a middle-aged lawyer and his son; an 18-year-old bride; a sardonic old woman; a former actress; the military lover of the former actress; the manic depressive wife of the military lover; and a maid all end up spending a weekend together in an estate in the country.

"It's very funny," Major said. "We have all kinds of points of view on love, and all these people figuring out what the right thing to do is."

"A Little Night Music" also has one of Sondheim's most famous songs in "Send in the Clowns."

Rehearsal for the musical has been going well so far, according to Major.

"I have a fantastic director and conductor," Major said. "It's also a remarkable group of singers ... one of the strongest groups we've ever had."

Featured in the musical are internationally known singer Luretta Bybee, Marquette's Paul Truckey, festival Resident Opera Artist Director Lucy Thrasher and the six Resident Opera Artists.

Tickets for "A Little Night Music" are $20, $30 and $40, and students and children are $10 and $15. Visit Michigan Tech Ticketing Services (Michigan Tech Student Development Complex) or call 877-746-3999. Tickets are also available at the door.



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