East West Players (EWP), the nation’s largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work and the longest-running professional theatre of color in the country, concludes its 46th anniversary season, themed “Languages of Love,” with Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s “A Little Night Music,” directed by Tim Dang and choreographed by Reggie Lee.
The cast of the production will feature Joseph Andreas, Tiffany-Marie Austin, Jon Jon Briones, Melody Butiu, Kerry Carnahan, Marcus Choi, Glenn Fernandez, Jalin Hsu, Jennifer Hubilla, Karen Huie, DT Matias, Maegan McConnell, Carly Peeters, Laurine Price, Kristina Reyes, Katy Tang, Sascha Tominaga and Paul Wong.
“I’m looking forward to starting rehearsals as we give this production our own special stamp in East West style. But I’m also looking forward to the process in attempting an all-acoustic version of ‘A Little Night Music’ without amplification,” says Dang, producing artistic director of EWP. “To hear the music, the lyrics, the melodies in a natural environment will make this production that much more special.”
While this is the first time “A Little Night Music” has been produced at EWP, it certainly is not the first time Sondheim has been featured there. “This is the 12th production by Stephen Sondheim in EWP’s 46-year history,” Dang explains. “Ironically, he may be the most produced musical theater composer in Asian American theater. His musicals have been both a critical and popular success at EWP.”
The revival of “Pacific Overtures” is the highest-grossing Sondheim musical in EWP history. It was the inaugural production at the David Henry Hwang Theater in 1998. It is also the second-highest-grossing production in EWP history overall, second only to the hip-hop anime version of “Pippin” by Stephen Schwartz, produced in 2008.
The award-winning musical, with music and lyrics by Sondheim and book by Wheeler, based on the 1955 Ingmar Bergman film “Smiles of a Summer Night,” explores the complexities of love and heartache as the summer night “smiles on the young, the fools, and the old.” Since its Broadway debut in 1973, it has enjoyed numerous accolades and revivals, and features Sondheim’s most well-known song, “Send in the Clowns.”
The design team for “A Little Night Music” consists of set and projection designer Adam Flemming, lighting designer Dan Weingarten, costume designer Jessica Olson, and property master Ken Takemoto. Stage manager is Ondina V. Dominguez.
Support for this production is provided by the S. Mark Taper Foundation Endowment for EWP. Additional support is provided by the California Community Foundation, Shubert Foundation, L.A. County Board of Supervisors through the L.A. County Arts Commission, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Bank of America and Southern California Edison.
All performances will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St. (between First and Temple), Los Angeles. The show opens Wednesday, May 16, and closes Sunday, June 10. Opening night will be accompanied by a pre-performance cocktail reception and a post-show reception with the cast and creative team.
Performances are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Previews are Thursday to Saturday, May 10-12, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 13, at 2 p.m. A pay-what-you-can performance will be held Thursday, May 17, at 8 p.m. with a suggested $5 minimum donation.
General admission tickets range from $46 to $56. Preview tickets are $25 for all seats, $16 for students with ID. Call the theater for opening night ticket availability and special event pricing. For ticket purchases or more information, call (213) 625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org. Senior, student and group discounts are available.