“A Little Night Music” premieres Friday at the Turnage

Published 7:10 pm Thursday, November 15, 2018

There’s music in the air at Arts of the Pamlico Friday and Saturday — “A Little Night Music,” to be precise.

Presented by East Carolina University Opera Theater, and co-directed by John Kramar and Daniel Shirley, the musical comedy will grace the Turnage stage three times this weekend, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.

“‘A Little Night Music’ is a charming, entertaining, hilarious musical performed by voice majors and students with the ECU School of Music,” Shirley said. “It is full of really witty dialogue and some of the best music written for the musical stage.”

Based on the Ingmar Bergman film “Smiles of a Summer Night,” the musical tells a story of love, lust and infidelity, mixing dramatic tension and hilarity. With technically challenging music throughout, the musical will feature some of the best voices at ECU. Perhaps the most recognizable piece from the musical is Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns.”

FRUSTRATION: Fredrik Egerman (portrayed by William Edwards) sings of his frustrated yet loving relationship with his wife. (Jenna Poppe)

“The students have grown into these roles,” Shirley said. “Every single one of them has come so far in the rehearsal process, and these characters are so much more detailed and nuanced than I ever could have foreseen. I am so fully and completely proud of these students. It is professional work.”

A total of 32 student in two casts are participating in the performance, with one cast performing tonight and Saturday afternoon, and a second taking the stage Saturday evening. The group has been rehearsing the musical since classes started back for the fall semester.

For Kramar, this will be the final show of his 20-year career as the director of ECU Opera Theater. In addition to Kramar and Shirley, a number of crew members have made the performance possible. Serving as conductor for the performance, John Tyler McDonald’s music will complement the lively choreography of Washington dancer Gayle Watson. Adding a distinctly period touch to the performance, costumes have been designed by Washington resident Jeffery Phipps.

The Opera Theater will also return to the Turnage this spring, March 29-30, for a performance of “The Coronation of Poppea.”

Tickets for “A Little Night Music” are $5 for students who present an ID, $15 for faculty, staff and senior citizens and $20 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased online at www.artsofthepamlico.org or via the AOP box office at 252-946-2504. A $2 credit card surcharge applies.