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Night Music

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By TOM TITUS | May 10, 2007
Both Stephen Sondheim and Woody Allen have used Ingmar Bergman's movie "Smiles of a Summer Night" to enrich their own repertoires. Allen's take on the story, you may recall, resulted in "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy." But it's the Sondheim version we're concerned with here. Long absent from local stages, "A Little Night Music" not only is the current attraction at the Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse, it'll lead off South Coast Repertory's next season in September. Set, as was its predecessor, in Sweden at the turn of the 20th century, "Night Music" is a delightful — if somewhat overly detailed — piece of romantic fluff intended to demonstrate what fools we mortals are when the heart is involved.
ENTERTAINMENT
By TOM TITUS | May 24, 2007
Playgoers who miss out on the Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse's "A Little Night Music," now on stage through June 3, can wait three months and catch the Stephen Sondheim musical at South Coast Repertory. That's the scheduling quirk that finds a show that hasn't been staged locally in more than two decades suddenly enjoying two productions nearly back to back in the same city. "Night Music" will kick off SCR's 2007-08 season, running from Sept. 7 through Oct. 7 on the Segerstrom Stage.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jessie Brunner | September 6, 2007
In the summer of 1964, a college-age Teri Ralston was living in a house with a band of ambitious theater majors from San Francisco State University, preparing for her role as an old woman in a production of Brendan Behan’s “The Hostage” at the Off-Broadway Theatre in Long Beach. Forty-three years later, she is playing another old lady, the matriarchal Madame Armfeldt, for the same theater group, now known as South Coast Repertory, as it opens the 2007-08 season Friday with “A Little Night Music.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | December 20, 2007
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of year-end reviews of local theater productions.   Stephen Sondheim’s infrequently revived musical comedy “A Little Night Music” found audiences in two Costa Mesa venues during 2007. At South Coast Repertory it ranked second only to “Hamlet” on this columnist’s annual assessment, but at the Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse it was numero uno. The playhouse’s production of “Night Music,” directed by Jason Holland, clearly headed the field among the offerings from the Civic Playhouse and the Newport Theater Arts Center, the city’s two community theater operations.
ENTERTAINMENT
By TOM TITUS | September 6, 2007
Most theater groups in the Costa Mesa-Newport Beach area will unveil their opening productions of the 2007-08 season this month — except for the Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse, which has already been there and done that. The playhouse stole a march on the rest of the field last month by lifting the curtain on its original sci-fi movie spoof “Earthlings Beware.” That show now has come and gone. As for the rest, two theaters will launch the new campaign next weekend. South Coast Repertory will take a rare musical turn with Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music,” while the Newport Theater Arts Center is set to revive John Guare’s black comedy “The House of Blue Leaves.
ENTERTAINMENT
By TOM TITUS | July 21, 2006
If at first you do succeed, why not try again? That appears to be the philosophy of the Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse. The 41-year old community theater group is reaching back into its own past for most of the productions in its upcoming 2006-07 season. Of its four new offerings, the first three were staged by the Civic Playhouse in the past. However, this may come as news to the current administration, since all three were presented eons ago ? two of them back in the pre-1985 days when the theater was headquartered in an ancient building on the Orange County Fairgrounds.
NEWS
March 15, 2003
Tom Titus You won't find Teri Ralston's name among South Coast Repertory's honor roll of founding artists -- even though she performed with SCR before it was SCR, and instructs a class in musical theater for the company. Ralston, unlike the handful of "regulars," hasn't focused her talents on the Costa Mesa company exclusively. Little things like Broadway shows and concerts have intervened over the past four decades. Yet the Laguna Beach singer-actress has found time to share her talent with SCR from time to time -- in shows like "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris," "Side by Side by Sondheim," "Sunday in the Park With George" and "Prelude to a Kiss."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jessie Brunner | June 6, 2007
SOUTH COAST REPERTORY'S 2007-08 SEASON "A Little Night Music" — Sept. 7 through Oct. 7, 2007, on the Segerstrom Stage "Shipwrecked! An Entertainment" — Sept. 23 through Oct. 14, 2007, on the Julianne Argyros Stage "Doubt" — Oct. 19 through Nov. 18, 2007, on the Segerstrom Stage "The BFG" (Theatre for Young Audiences) — Nov. 2 through 18, 2007, on the Julianne Argyros Stage "A Christmas Carol" — Nov. 24 through Dec. 24, 2007, on the Segerstrom Stage "La Posada Mágica" — Dec. 7 through 23, 2007, on the Julianne Argyros Stage "A Feminine Ending" — Jan. 6 through 27, 2008, on the Julianne Argyros Stage "The Importance of Being Earnest" — Feb. 8 through March 9, 2008, on the Segerstrom Stage "Charlotte's Web" (Theatre for Young Audiences)
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | October 1, 2009
As a composer without peer in musical theater, Stephen Sondheim is a linear descendant of Noel Coward and Cole Porter, with a staggering output that eclipses both of these legends. And, like Coward (“A Marvelous Party”) and Porter (“Red, Hot and Cole”), Sondheim has seen his songs take flight out of context in revues such as “Side by Side by Sondheim” and the current production at South Coast Repertory, “Putting It Together.” Sondheim himself put this highly entertaining piece together, along with Julia McKenzie, and it’s not just a musical medley.
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FEATURES
By B.W. Cook | September 16, 2009
The crowd turned out in pink for the “Legally Blonde the Musical” opening night performance and cast party at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. The after-show soiree featured both a midnight buffet and a candy buffet that was oh-so-popular. Blondes were definitely in, and blonde jokes were out. Pink martinis were the late night rage followed by black coffee. Pulsating music kept the gathering in high gear. Tiger Woods will once again present his annual Block Party benefiting high school youth aided by the Tiger Woods Learning Centers in Orange County.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | December 20, 2007
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of year-end reviews of local theater productions.   Stephen Sondheim’s infrequently revived musical comedy “A Little Night Music” found audiences in two Costa Mesa venues during 2007. At South Coast Repertory it ranked second only to “Hamlet” on this columnist’s annual assessment, but at the Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse it was numero uno. The playhouse’s production of “Night Music,” directed by Jason Holland, clearly headed the field among the offerings from the Civic Playhouse and the Newport Theater Arts Center, the city’s two community theater operations.
ENTERTAINMENT
By TOM TITUS | September 20, 2007
When you combine the best of Ingmar Bergman, Stephen Sondheim and South Coast Repertory, the result can be glorious. It certainly is in the case of SCR’s season-opening production of “A Little Night Music.” Dressed to the nines and in superlative singing voice, this “Night Music” fairly flows through the theater, buoyed by some immaculate performances and backed by a deliciously unobtrusive onstage orchestra. The people at South Coast Rep. don’t often do musicals, but when they do, they do them right.
ENTERTAINMENT
By TOM TITUS | September 6, 2007
Most theater groups in the Costa Mesa-Newport Beach area will unveil their opening productions of the 2007-08 season this month — except for the Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse, which has already been there and done that. The playhouse stole a march on the rest of the field last month by lifting the curtain on its original sci-fi movie spoof “Earthlings Beware.” That show now has come and gone. As for the rest, two theaters will launch the new campaign next weekend. South Coast Repertory will take a rare musical turn with Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music,” while the Newport Theater Arts Center is set to revive John Guare’s black comedy “The House of Blue Leaves.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jessie Brunner | September 6, 2007
In the summer of 1964, a college-age Teri Ralston was living in a house with a band of ambitious theater majors from San Francisco State University, preparing for her role as an old woman in a production of Brendan Behan’s “The Hostage” at the Off-Broadway Theatre in Long Beach. Forty-three years later, she is playing another old lady, the matriarchal Madame Armfeldt, for the same theater group, now known as South Coast Repertory, as it opens the 2007-08 season Friday with “A Little Night Music.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jessie Brunner | June 6, 2007
SOUTH COAST REPERTORY'S 2007-08 SEASON "A Little Night Music" — Sept. 7 through Oct. 7, 2007, on the Segerstrom Stage "Shipwrecked! An Entertainment" — Sept. 23 through Oct. 14, 2007, on the Julianne Argyros Stage "Doubt" — Oct. 19 through Nov. 18, 2007, on the Segerstrom Stage "The BFG" (Theatre for Young Audiences) — Nov. 2 through 18, 2007, on the Julianne Argyros Stage "A Christmas Carol" — Nov. 24 through Dec. 24, 2007, on the Segerstrom Stage "La Posada Mágica" — Dec. 7 through 23, 2007, on the Julianne Argyros Stage "A Feminine Ending" — Jan. 6 through 27, 2008, on the Julianne Argyros Stage "The Importance of Being Earnest" — Feb. 8 through March 9, 2008, on the Segerstrom Stage "Charlotte's Web" (Theatre for Young Audiences)
ENTERTAINMENT
By TOM TITUS | July 21, 2006
If at first you do succeed, why not try again? That appears to be the philosophy of the Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse. The 41-year old community theater group is reaching back into its own past for most of the productions in its upcoming 2006-07 season. Of its four new offerings, the first three were staged by the Civic Playhouse in the past. However, this may come as news to the current administration, since all three were presented eons ago ? two of them back in the pre-1985 days when the theater was headquartered in an ancient building on the Orange County Fairgrounds.
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