Monday, March 15, 2010

Ho-hum Evening at the Palace

Since Fiorella no longer does theater, she feels free to critique the local scene.

Last night she and Husband put on their glad rags and drove into town for the Palace's presentation of A Little Night Music. Set in Sweden during a long, sunlit summer day and night, it's Sondheim's attempt at a French farce.

The many, many costumes were sumptuous, the only flaw being the dress "Anne" quick-changed into in the first act--her pantaloons showed out the back every time she turned sideways. To Fio's semi-trained ear, the musical aspect of the play was technically perfect: the on-stage orchestra was great, the singers handled the difficult music with seeming ease and perfect pitch. But there was a problem with the unequal quality of the voices--the women's, of course, were much better than the men's. (Fio was fascinated by the contralto)

Then there were the wigs, especially those of the ingenue and the grandmother--really bad. And the acting was uneven, ranging from "Egerman" at the pinnacle down to "Mrs. Egerman," who was vocally week and whose speaking style inappropriately echoed Audrey's from Little Shop of Horrors.

A standout performer was Amy Minor as the libidinous servant girl, Petra. The actress playing Desiree had her moments, but was inconsistent in her character, often seeming like she'd rather be galloping about on a cow pony.

And the first act was slow and confusing. But that was Sondheim's fault.

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