MT Scavenger Hunt: A Little Night Music

This season The Stratford Festival is presenting one of Sondheim’s most iconic musicals,  A Little Night Music.  We caught up with our 2012/2013 Bank’s Prize Winner Alexis Gordon, who shines as Anne Egerman, to take us backstage on a Musical Theatre scavenger hunt!

 

1) The Most Sublime Costume


Alexis Gordon & Cynthia Dale. Photography by Alexis Gordon
 
This show demands glamour and elegance at every turn, so to be forced to choose just one costume as a favourite is nearly impossible. Here are my top drool-worthy costumes from our extremely talented and award-winning costume designer Debra Hanson, assisted by the lovely Alyssa Westman (not to mention the wonderful seamstresses who spent an average of 130 hours on each of the 36 hand-stitched, gorgeous dresses in our production!) The first is of the stunning Cynthia Dale in her first Charlotte Malcolm dress, the second is my favourite dress I wear as Anne Egerman. 
 

2)The Most Extravagant Prop

PropThe “Tiny” Titian. Photography by Alexis Gordon

A Little Night Music is not the most prop-heavy show, so after much consideration, I decided on Madame Armfeldt’s “Tiny” Titian painting from Act Two as our most… subtle prop of the show. It is referenced in Armfeldt’s song “Liaisons” and in our production, seen in its full glory in the second act. Only The Stratford Festival would be able to create such a detailed, stunning, glamorous, and giant painting, replicating a famous Italian artist’s work.

 

3) A Backstage Ritual

backstage ritualBen Carlson and Juan Chioran. Photography by Alexis Gordon

Over the course of the run, many rituals have developed backstage, but one of them includes Ben Carlson and Juan Chioran’s ritual of playing backgammon together in Ben’s dressing room before the show begins. Right next to Sara Farb’s and my dressing room, nightly, we can hear the two of them joking around and starting up another game together before the show. Though who wins and loses we never do hear about…

 

4) The Most Random Item In the Greenroom

Photography by Alexis Gordan

Our greenroom is filled with a lot of framed treasures from shows at the Avon past, but one of my favourites this season, was finding Juan (with actress, Amy Walsh) in a photo from his performance in Dracula: A Chamber Musical, from 1999. So neat to learn more about what Juan has done in the past at the Festival, to working with him onstage now!

5) Favourite Moment in A Little Night Music

Yanna McIntosh as Désirée Armfeldt and Ben Carlson as Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music. Photography by David Hou.

Yanna McIntosh as Désirée Armfeldt and Ben Carlson as Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music. Photography by David Hou.

The score for this show is probably the best in music theatre history, so to be able to listen from offstage, and sing with onstage, an incredible 19-piece orchestra, under the music direction of the brilliant Franklin Brasz, is such an honour and gift every single performance. The “Night Waltz” at the top of the show (after the extraordinary quintet blow everyone away with their stunning vocals in the Overture), a handful of us get to waltz to. And other than my fear of tripping on the train of one of many stunning gowns, it’s a highlight for me to be able to hear our talented orchestra musicians fill the theatre by themselves for part of the evening.

6) Opening Night Highlight

cast tech week

Photography by Alexis Gordon

I think we all sort of dropped our jaws at this one… Rumour still has it that Sondheim may be in town some time during the run to witness our show, but leave it to our director, Gary Griffin to elevate our opening night to having the privilege of being blessed by one of the gods of contemporary musical theatre. Stephen Sondheim sent our cast a beautiful opening night note, and now I’m quite sure no other opening night note can ever beat this one… What a show, what a talented cast, team and crew, what a dream to be a part of!

A Little Night Music plays at the Avon Theatre at The Stratford Festival until October 23, 2016.

 

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