Utah Rep’s 2016: Season 4

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“A Little Night Music”

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim / Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by Chris Clark / Music direction by Anne Puzey
Friday, January 15-Sunday, January 30

A dramatic musical celebration of love. Sondheim creates a stunning tour de force when he takes Ingmar Bergman’s comedy of manners, “Smiles of a Summer Night,” and turns it into a musical of masterful execution and elegance. Set in 1900 Sweden, “A Little Night Music” explores the tangled web of affairs centered around actress Desirée Armfeldt and the two men who love her.

New York Times called the musical “heady, civilized, sophisticated and enchanting,” noting that “the real triumph belongs to Stephen Sondheim…the music is a celebration of 3/4 time, an orgy of plaintively memorable waltzes, all talking of past loves and lost worlds.”

Surely Sondheim’s most popular song, “Send in the Clowns,” was introduced in “A Little Night Music.” The original production won of won six Tony Awards including Best Musical.

“Doubt, A Parable”

By John Patrick Shanley
Directed by JC Carter
Friday, March 4-Sunday, March 20

“The truth makes for a bad sermon. It tends to be confusing and have no clear conclusion.”

Written by prolific playwright John Patrick Shanley and set in 1964 in the fictional St. Nicholas Church School in Bronx, New York, the powerful drama centers on the contentious relationship between the parish priest, Father Flynn, and Sister Aloysius, the principal of the school. Their conflict reaches a crescendo in the accusation of impropriety by Father Flynn, and the audience is forced to weigh the evidence and deal with its own “doubt.” The playwright presents a brilliant balance of conflicting viewpoints and a finely judged dramatic argument.

According to the New York Times review, “Even as ‘Doubt’ holds your conscious attention as an intelligently measured debate play, it sends off stealth charges that go deeper emotionally.”

“Doubt” won Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Tony Award for Best Play, and Drama Desk Award for Most Outstanding New Play, and was adapted into film starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis, with each actor receiving an Academy Award nomination.

“Cabaret”

Music by John Kander / Lyrics by Fred Ebb / Based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood
1998 Broadway revival script, based on the 1993 Mendes-Donmar Warehouse production, reconceived under director/choreographer Rob Marhsall
Directed by L.L. West / Music direction by Anne Puzey / Choreography by Ashley Gardner-Carlson
Friday, August 26-Sunday, September 11

Willkommen to the Kit Kat Club, the hottest nightclub in seedy, prewar Berlin. Here, life is beautiful. American writer Cliff Bradshaw travels to Berlin searching for inspiration. He finds it in English club performer Sally Bowles and they begin a torrid affair. However, outside their door, the nazis’ impending rise to power heralds a brutal end to their decadent way of life.

The 1998 revival of the John Kander-Fred Ebb musical was that rarest of revivals, one that feels like an utterly new show. Despite their incredibly familiarity, the songs sound as lively and lascivious as ever, and the revised score augments the original with several tunes written specifically for the Oscar-winning film.

Original production won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Direction, and Best Choreography. The 1998 restaging won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival. The film adaptation was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning eight including Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and holds the record for most Academy Awards won by a film which did not win the Best Picture award.