Sex, lies, and waltzing love songs make up Opera Clevelands A Little Night Music, now playing at the Cleveland Play House. Stephen Sondheims witty take on relationships mixes Ingmar Bergman (its based on the directors Smiles of a Summer Night), trophy wives, and a weekend of bed-hopping. Its so organic, says orchestra conductor Betsy Burleigh. Everything works so beautifully -- humor, passion, and honesty.
It would take an intricate diagram to keep tabs on all the romantic entanglements in the play. For starters, theres an unhappy marriage between a middle-aged lawyer and his bewildered 18-year-old bride. Then theres the husbands former flame, who reignites the spark. And theres the flame herself -- whos having an affair with a jealous jackass, also on board for the weekends festivities. Like a ballroom dance, the characters are matched and rematched, says Burleigh. The music is the metaphor for this dance of partners.
The musicals haunting score (which includes show-stopping perennial Send in the Clowns) adds to the emotional tangle, says Burleigh. There is such a magical wonder about this play, she says. Its a look at human folly. Certainly, we all goof sometimes.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Aug. 11. Continues through Aug. 19