It's a bit surprising, if not downright shameful, that so far there hasn't been a single Broadway revival of the Stephen Sondheim/Hugh Wheeler masterwork A Little Night Music. It's not only one of Sondheim's few shows to make a profit during its initial Broadway run, it's also pretty darned near perfect. (Although I venerate "The Miller's Son" as a song, it doesn't belong in the show. It stops the action cold, just as we want things to wrap up, and it's 4-plus minutes with a deservedly minor character.)
We've been hearing for years about proposed New York revivals of A Little Night Music, but they've had a nasty habit of falling through. A few years back, Glenn Close was supposed to make her return to the Broadway musical stage in the role of Desiree. That production never materialized.
More recently, the Roundabout Theatre staged a successful one-night-only benefit concert version of A Little Night Music, which starred Natasha Richardson and her mother, Vanessa Redgrave. There was talk of the Roundabout bringing the show back as part of its regular season, but Richardson's tragic death unfortunately prevented that from happening.
Now it looks as though the current London production, helmed by Trevor Nunn, is making a bid for Broadway later this year. A Little Night Music opened at London's Garrick Theatre in December 2008, after a sold-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory. A recent casting notice states that rehearsals for the Broadway production are tentatively scheduled to begin in October toward a December opening at a theater TBD. We'll see as to whether that production comes to pass.
As if that weren't enough, Playbill.com recently reported that Kristin Scott Thomas (who was robbed...Robbed!...of a Tony nomination for her sparkling turn as Madame Arkadina last fall in The Seagull) will play Desiree in Paris an English-language production in 2010. Before you ask, "Can she sing?," I would remind you that the role was written to cater to the vocal limitations of Glynis Johns, who originated the role in the 1973 Broadway production. It's the kind of part that requires an actress first, a singer second. Dame Judi Dench played Desiree in London in 1995, and anyone who's heard that long out-of-print and highly collectible cast recording can vouch for the fact that she's no Maria Callas.
I'm certainly hoping to see the New York revival actually happen. If it doesn't, I may just have to fly over to London or Paris. Or both.