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A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman
film Smiles of a Summer Night, it involves the romantic lives of several couples. Its title is a literal English translation of the German name for Mozart's Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major, Eine kleine Nachtmusik. The musical includes the popular song "Send in the Clowns". Since its original 1973 Broadway production, the musical has enjoyed professional productions in the West End, by opera companies, in a 2009 Broadway revival, and elsewhere, and it is a popular choice for regional groups. It was adapted for film in 1977, with Harold Prince directing and Elizabeth Taylor, Len Cariou, Lesley-Anne Down
Lesley-Anne Down
and Diana Rigg starring.

Contents

1 Synopsis

1.1 Act One 1.2 Act Two

2 Musical numbers 3 Characters 4 Productions

4.1 Original Broadway production 4.2 Australian premiere 4.3 United States tour 4.4 West End premiere 4.5 1989 West End revival 4.6 1995 London revival 4.7 2008 London revival 4.8 2009 Broadway revival 4.9 Europe 4.10 Opera companies

5 Film adaptation 6 Music analysis

6.1 3/4 time 6.2 Counterpoint
Counterpoint
and polyphony 6.3 "Send In The Clowns" 6.4 Influences

7 Cast recordings 8 Critical response 9 Awards and nominations

9.1 Original Broadway production 9.2 1995 London revival 9.3 2009 London Revival 9.4 2009 Broadway revival

10 References 11 Bibliography 12 External links

Synopsis[edit] Act One[edit] The setting is Sweden, around the year 1900. One by one, the Quintet – five singers who comment like a Greek chorus
Greek chorus
throughout the show – enter, tuning up. Gradually, their vocalizing becomes an overture blending fragments of "Remember", "Soon" and "The Glamorous Life", leading into the first "Night Waltz". The other characters enter waltzing, each uncomfortable with their particular partner. After they drift back off, the aging and severe Madame Armfeldt and her solemn granddaughter, Fredrika, enter. Madame Armfeldt tells the child that the summer night "smiles" three times: first on the young, second on fools, and third on the old. Fredrika vows to watch the smiles occur. Middle-aged Fredrik Egerman is a successful lawyer. He has recently married an 18-year-old trophy wife, Anne, a vain girl who is in love with Fredrik, but too immature to grasp the concept of marriage. The two have been married for eleven months, but Anne still protects her virginity. Fredrik laments his inability to make love to his wife ("Now"). Meanwhile, his son Henrik, a year older than his stepmother, is feeling extremely frustrated. He is a seminary student and everyone is always teasing him, never taking him seriously or letting him talk ("Later"). Anne is intrigued by him, but fails to understand his real meaning. Anne promises her husband that shortly she will consent to have sex ("Soon"). Anne's maidservant Petra, an experienced and forthright girl, slightly older than the teen herself, offers her worldly but crass advice. Desiree Armfeldt is a prominent and glamorous actress who is now reduced to touring in small towns. Madame Armfeldt, Desiree's mother, has taken over the care of Desiree's daughter Fredrika. Fredrika misses her mother, but Desiree continually delays going to see her, preferring, somewhat ironically, "The Glamorous Life". She is performing near Fredrik's home, and he brings Anne to see the play. While there, Desiree notices Fredrik; the two had been lovers years earlier. Anne, suspicious and annoyed because of Desiree's amorous glances, demands that Fredrik take her home immediately. Meanwhile, Petra has been trying to seduce Henrik. That night, as Fredrik remembers his past with Desiree, he sneaks out to see her; the two share a happy but strained reunion, as they "Remember". They reflect on their new lives, and Fredrik tries to explain how much he loves Anne ("You Must Meet My Wife"). Desiree responds sarcastically, boasting of her own adultery, as she has been seeing the married dragoon, Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm. Upon learning that Fredrik has gone for eleven months without sex, she agrees to accommodate him as a favor for an old friend. Madame Armfeldt offers advice to young Fredrika. The elderly woman reflects poignantly on her own checkered past, and wonders what happened to her refined "Liaisons". Back in Desiree's apartment, Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm proclaims his unannounced arrival in his typical booming voice. Fredrik and Desiree fool the gullible Count into believing that their disheveled appearance was entirely innocent, but he is still suspicious. He instantly dislikes Fredrik and returns to his wife, Countess Charlotte. Charlotte is quite aware of her husband's infidelity, but Carl-Magnus is too absorbed in his suspicions of Desiree to talk to her ("In Praise of Women"). When she persuades him to blurt out the whole story, a twist is revealed—Charlotte's little sister is a schoolfriend of Anne's. Charlotte visits Anne, who is talking with Petra. Charlotte describes Fredrik's meeting with Desiree; Anne reacts with shock and horror. The older woman explains to Anne that such is the lot of a wife, and that marriage brings pain ("Every Day A Little Death"). Meanwhile, Desiree asks Madame Armfeldt to host a party for Fredrik, Anne and Henrik. Though reluctant, Madame Armfeldt agrees. She sends out a personal invitation; its receipt sends the women into a frenzy, imagining "A Weekend in the Country". Anne does not want to accept the invitation, but Charlotte convinces her to do so to heighten the contrast between the older woman and the young teenager. Meanwhile, the Count has plans of his own—as a birthday present to his wife, the pair will attend the party uninvited. Carl-Magnus plans to challenge Fredrik to a duel, while Charlotte hopes to seduce the lawyer to make her husband jealous and end his philandering. The day of the party dawns. Act Two[edit] Armfeldt's country estate is bathed in the golden glow of perpetual summer sunset at this high latitude ("Night Waltz
Waltz
One and Two"). Everyone arrives, each carrying their own amorous purposes and desires—even Petra, who catches the eye of Armfeldt's fetching manservant, Frid. The women begin to act against each other. Fredrik is astonished to learn the name of Desiree's daughter. Henrik meets Fredrika, and confesses his deep love for Anne to her. Meanwhile, in the garden, Fredrik and Carl-Magnus reflect on how difficult it is to be annoyed with Desiree, agreeing "It Would Have Been Wonderful" had she not been quite so wonderful. Dinner is served, and the characters' "Perpetual Anticipation" enlivens that meal. At dinner, Charlotte attempts to flirt with Fredrik, and also trades insults with Desiree. Soon, everyone is shouting and scolding everyone else, except for Henrik, who finally stands up for himself. He shrieks at them for being completely amoral, and flees the scene. Stunned, everyone reflects on the situation and wanders away. Fredrika tells Anne of Henrik's secret love, and the two dash off searching for him. Meanwhile, Desiree meets Fredrik and asks if he still wants to be "rescued" from his life. Fredrik answers honestly that he loves Desiree, but only as a dream. Hurt and bitter, Desiree can only reflect on the nature of her life ("Send in the Clowns"). Anne finds Henrik, who is attempting to commit suicide. The clumsy boy cannot complete the task, and Anne tells him that she has feelings for him, too. The pair begins to kiss, which leads to Anne's first sexual encounter. Meanwhile, not far away, Frid sleeps in Petra's lap. The maid thinks of the joy and freedom that she longs for before becoming trapped in marriage ("The Miller's Son"). Henrik and Anne, happy together, run away to start their new life. Charlotte confesses her plan to Fredrik, and the two commiserate on a bench. Carl-Magnus, preparing to romance Desiree, sees this and challenges Fredrik to Russian Roulette, at which a nervous Fredrik misfires and simply grazes his own ear. Victorious, Carl-Magnus begins to romance Charlotte, granting her wish at last. After the Count and Countess leave, Fredrika and Madame Armfeldt discuss the chaos of the recent turns-of-events. The elderly woman then asks Fredrika a surprising question: "What is it all for?" Fredrika thinks about this, and decides that it "must be worth it". Madame Armfeldt is surprised, ruefully noting that she rejected love for material wealth at Fredrika's age. She praises her granddaughter and remembers true love's fleeting nature. Fredrik finally confesses his love for Desiree, acknowledges that Fredrika is his daughter, and the two promise to start a new life together ("Send in the Clowns" - reprise). Armfeldt sits alone with Fredrika. Fredrika tells her grandmother that she has watched carefully, but still has not seen the night smile. Armfeldt laughs and points out that the night has indeed smiled twice: first on Henrik and Anne, the young, and second on Desiree and Fredrik, the fools. As the two wait for the "third smile... on the old", it happens: Madame Armfeldt closes her eyes, and dies peacefully with Fredrika beside her. Musical numbers[edit]

Act I

Overture – Mr. Lindquist, Mrs. Nordstrom, Mrs. Anderssen, Mr. Erlanson and Mrs. Segstrom (the "Quintet") "Night Waltz" – Company "Now" – Fredrik Egerman "Later" – Henrik Egerman "Soon" – Anne Egerman "Soon/Later/Now" – Anne, Henrik and Fredrik "The Glamorous Life" – Fredrika Armfeldt, Desiree Armfeldt, Madame Armfeldt and Quintet "Remember?" – Quintet "You Must Meet My Wife" – Desiree and Fredrik "Liaisons" – Madame Armfeldt "In Praise of Women" – Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm "Every Day a Little Death" – Countess Charlotte Malcolm and Anne "Weekend in the Country" – Company

Act II

Entr'acte – Orchestra "Night Waltz
Waltz
I (The Sun Won't Set)" – Quintet "Night Waltz
Waltz
II (The Sun Sits Low)" – Quintet "It Would Have Been Wonderful" – Fredrik and Carl-Magnus "Perpetual Anticipation" – Mrs. Nordstrom, Mrs. Segstrom and Mrs. Anderssen "Dinner Table Scene" – Orchestra "Send in the Clowns" – Desiree "The Miller's Son" – Petra "The World Won't End/Every Day a Little Death (reprise)" – Desiree and Charlotte Reprises ("Soon", "You Must Meet My Wife", "A Weekend in the Country" and "Every Day a Little Death") – Quintet "Send in the Clowns" (Reprise) – Desiree and Fredrik "Last Waltz" – Orchestra

Additional musical numbers

Stage:

"Two Fairy Tales" – Henrik and Anne (cut for time) "Silly People" – Frid (cut for time) "Bang!" – Carl-Magnus (replaced by "In Praise of Women") "My Husband the Pig" – Charlotte (replaced by the second half of "In Praise of Women")

Screen:

"Love Takes Time" – Company (lyrics added to Night Waltz) "The Glamorous Life" – Fredrika (solo version)

Characters[edit]

Fredrik Egerman: A successful widowed middle-aged lawyer. He is married to the 18-year-old Anne and has one son from his previous marriage, Henrik. In the past, he and Desiree were lovers. Baritone A2-E4 Anne Egerman: Fredrik's new, naive wife, who is still a virgin after 11 months of marriage. Soprano G#3-A5 Henrik Egerman: Fredrik's son, 20 years old and Anne's stepson. He is serious but confused; he reads the works of philosophers and theologians whilst studying for the Lutheran priesthood. His sexual repression is a great cause of his turmoil, as he lusts after Anne and attempts to have a sexual encounter with Petra. Tenor G3-B4 Petra: Anne's maid and closest confidante, brash, bold and flirtatious. She has relations with Henrick. Mezzo F#3-F5 Desiree Armfeldt: Self-absorbed, once-successful actress, now touring the country-side in what is clearly not the "glamorous life". Harboured love for Fredrik for years since their affair. Mezzo F#3-Ab5 Fredrika Armfeldt: Desiree's thirteen-year-old daughter, who may or may not be the product (unbeknownst to Fredrik) of the actress's and Fredrik's affair. Soprano C4-Eb5 Madame Leonora Armfeldt: Desiree's mother, a former courtesan who has had "liaisons" with royalty. Alto C3-F#4 Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm: A military dragoon who is Desiree's latest lover. Hypocritically places value on fidelity, being hugely possessive when it comes to both his wife and mistress. Comedic role. Baritenor G2-F#4 Countess Charlotte Malcolm: Carl-Magnus' wife, to whom he flaunts his infidelities. She despises her husband for his behaviour, but obeys his orders due to her hopeless love for him. Self-loathing and borderline alcoholic, yet the more intelligent half of the Malcolm couple. Mezzo G3-F5 Frid: Madame Armfeldt's manservant. Has a tryst with Petra. The Quintet: Mr. Lindquist, Mrs. Nordstrom, Mrs. Anderssen, Mr. Erlanson and Mrs. Segstrom. A group of five singers that act as a Greek chorus. Sometimes referred to as the Liebeslieder Singers although Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
and Hugh Wheeler did not script them to have that title, using Quintet instead. The first usage of Liebeslieders for the Quintet came during the 1990 New York Opera production. Prince said that these characters represent "people in the show who aren't wasting time ... the play is about wasting time."[1] Malla: Desiree's maid, who is with her constantly. (silent part) Osa: Maid at Madame Armfeldt's manse. (silent part) Bertrand: Page at Madame Armfeldt's manse. (silent part)

Productions[edit] Original Broadway production[edit] A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on February 25, 1973. It played there until September 15, 1973, then moved to the Majestic Theatre, on September 17, and closed there on August 3, 1974, after 601 performances and 12 previews. It was directed by Harold Prince with choreography by Patricia Birch and design by Boris Aronson. The cast included Glynis Johns
Glynis Johns
(Desiree Armfeldt), Len Cariou
Len Cariou
(Fredrik Egerman), Hermione Gingold
Hermione Gingold
(Madame Armfeldt), Victoria Mallory (Anne Egerman), Judith Kahan
Judith Kahan
(Fredrika Armfeldt), Mark Lambert (Henrik Egerman), Laurence Guittard (Carl-Magnus Malcolm), Patricia Elliott (Charlotte Malcolm), George Lee Andrews (Frid), and D. Jamin Bartlett (Petra). It won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and the Tony Award
Tony Award
for Best Musical. Australian premiere[edit] The first international production opened at Her Majesty's Theatre in Sydney, Australia in November 1973, with a cast including Taina Elg, Bruce Barry, Jill Perryman, Doris Fitton, Anna Russell
Anna Russell
and Geraldine Turner.[2] Australian revivals have been presented by the Sydney Theatre Company (featuring Geraldine Turner and a young Toni Collette) in 1990, Melbourne Theatre Company
Melbourne Theatre Company
(featuring Helen Morse and John O'May) in 1997 and Opera Australia
Opera Australia
(featuring Sigrid Thornton
Sigrid Thornton
and Anthony Warlow) in 2009.[3][4][5] United States tour[edit] A US national tour began on February 26, 1974, at the Forrest Theatre, Philadelphia, and ended on February 13, 1975, at the Shubert Theatre, Boston. Jean Simmons
Jean Simmons
as Desiree Armfeldt, George Lee Andrews as Fredrik Egerman and Margaret Hamilton as Madame Armfeldt headed the cast.[6] West End premiere[edit] The musical premiered in the West End at the Adelphi Theatre
Adelphi Theatre
on April 15, 1975, and starred Jean Simmons, Joss Ackland, David Kernan, Liz Robertson, and Diane Langton, with Hermione Gingold
Hermione Gingold
reprising her role as Madame Armfeldt. It ran for 406 performances. During the run, Angela Baddeley
Angela Baddeley
replaced Gingold, and Virginia McKenna
Virginia McKenna
replaced Simmons. 1989 West End revival[edit] A revival opened in the West End on October 6, 1989, at the Piccadilly Theatre, directed by Ian Judge, designed by Mark Thompson, and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. It starred Lila Kedrova
Lila Kedrova
as Madame Armfeldt, Dorothy Tutin as Desiree Armfeldt, Peter McEnery as Fredrick, and Susan Hampshire. The production ran for 144 performances, closing on February 17, 1990. 1995 London revival[edit] A revival by the Royal National Theatre
Royal National Theatre
opened at the Olivier Theatre on September 26, 1995. It was directed by Sean Mathias, with set design by Stephen Brimson Lewis, costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting by Mark Henderson and choreography by Wayne McGregor. It starred Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(Desiree), Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
(Madame Armfeldt), Joanna Riding (Anne Egerman), Laurence Guittard (Fredrik Egerman), Patricia Hodge (Countess Charlotte) and Issy van Randwyck (Petra). The production closed on August 31, 1996. Dench received the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.[7] 2008 London revival[edit] The third London revival ran at the Menier Chocolate Factory
Menier Chocolate Factory
from November 22, 2008 until March 8, 2009. The production was directed by Trevor Nunn, with choreography by Lynne Page, sets and costumes by David Farley and new orchestrations by Jason Carr. The cast included Hannah Waddingham
Hannah Waddingham
as Desiree, Alexander Hanson as Frederik, Jessie Buckley (Anne), Maureen Lipman (Mme. Armfeldt), Alistair Robins (the Count), Gabriel Vick (Henrik), Grace Link (Fredrika) and Kasia Hammarlund (Petra).[8] This critically acclaimed[9][10][11] production transferred to the Garrick Theatre
Garrick Theatre
in the West End for a limited season, opening on March 28, 2009 and running until July 25, 2009.[12] The production then transferred to Broadway with a new cast. 2009 Broadway revival[edit] The 2008 Menier Chocolate Factory
Menier Chocolate Factory
production opened on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre
Walter Kerr Theatre
in previews on November 24, 2009 and officially on December 13, 2009, with the same creative team. The cast starred Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
as Madame Armfeldt and, in her Broadway debut, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones
as Desiree. Also featured were Alexander Hanson as Frederik,[13] Ramona Mallory (the daughter of original Broadway cast members Victoria Mallory and Mark Lambert) as Anne, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka as Henrik, Leigh Ann Larkin as Petra, Erin Davie
Erin Davie
as the Countess, Aaron Lazar as the Count, and Bradley Dean as Frid. Zeta-Jones was recognized as Best Leading Actress in a Musical at the 64th Tony Awards.[14] When the contracts of Zeta-Jones and Lansbury ended, the production temporarily closed on June 20, 2010 and resumed on July 13, with new stars Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
as Desiree Armfeldt and Elaine Stritch
Elaine Stritch
as Madame Armfeldt.[15][16] In an interview, Peters said that Sondheim had "proposed the idea to her this spring and urged the producers of the revival to cast her."[17] Trevor Nunn directed rehearsals with the two new stars, and the rest of the original cast remained.[18][19] Peters and Stritch extended their contracts until January 9, 2011, when the production closed with 20 previews and 425 regular performances.[20] Before the production closed, it recouped its initial investment.[21] Europe[edit] Zarah Leander
Zarah Leander
played Madame Armfeldt in the original Austrian staging (in 1975) as well as in the original Swedish staging in Stockholm
Stockholm
in 1978 (here with Jan Malmsjö
Jan Malmsjö
as Fredrik Egerman), performing "Send In The Clowns" and "Liaisons" in both stagings. The successful Stockholm staging was directed by Stig Olin. In 2010 the musical was scheduled to return to Stockholm
Stockholm
and the Stockholm
Stockholm
Stadsteater. The cast included Pia Johansson, Dan Ekborg, Yvonne Lombard
Yvonne Lombard
and Thérese Andersson.[citation needed] The Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris production ran from February 15, 2010 through February 20, 2010. Lee Blakeley directed and Andrew George was the choreographer.[22] Italian-born actress Greta Scacchi played Désirée, and Leslie Caron
Leslie Caron
played Madame Armfeldt. [23] The Turku City Theatre
Turku City Theatre
staged the musical in 2011 with Kirsi Tarvainen in the role as Désirée. Tuomas Parkkinen directed and Jussi Vahvaselkä was musical director. Opera companies[edit] The musical has also become part of the repertoire of a few opera companies. Michigan Opera Theatre
Michigan Opera Theatre
was the first major American opera company to present the work in 1983, and again in November 2009. Light Opera Works (Evanston, IL) produced the work in August 1983. New York City Opera staged it in 1990, 1991 and 2003, the Houston Grand Opera in 1999, the Los Angeles Opera
Los Angeles Opera
in 2004, and Hartford Opera Theater in 2014. New York City Opera's production in August 1990 and July 1991 (a total of 18 performances) won the 1990 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival and was telecast on the PBS show "Live at Lincoln Center" on November 7, 1990.[24]The cast included both stage performers: Sally Ann Howes
Sally Ann Howes
and George Lee Andrews as Desiree and Frederick and opera regular Regina Resnik
Regina Resnik
as Madame Armfeldt (in 1991).[25] The 2003 production featured a young Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick
as Fredrika Armfeldt, alongside Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
as Frederick, Juliet Stevenson as Desiree, Claire Bloom
Claire Bloom
as Madame Armfeldt, Danny Gurwin as Henrik, Michelle Pawk as Charlotte, and Marc Kudisch
Marc Kudisch
as Carl-Magnus.[26] Opera Australia
Opera Australia
presented the piece in Melbourne in May 2009, starring Sigrid Thornton
Sigrid Thornton
as Desiree Armfeldt and Nacye Hayes as Madame Armfeldt. The production returned in 2010 at the Sydney Opera House with Anthony Warlow
Anthony Warlow
taking on the role of Fredrik Egerman. The production was directed by Stuart Maunder, designed by Roger Kirk, and conducted by Andrew Greene.[27] Opera Theatre of Saint Louis performed the musical in June 2010. Designer Isaac Mizrahi directed and designed the production, with a cast that starred Amy Irving, Siân Phillips and Ron Raines.[28] The piece has also become a popular choice for amateur musical theatre and light opera companies. In 2017, the musical was performed by students at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[29] Film adaptation[edit] Main article: A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
(film) A film version of A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
was released in 1977, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Lesley-Anne Down
Lesley-Anne Down
and Diana Rigg, with Len Cariou, Hermione Gingold
Hermione Gingold
and Laurence Guittard reprising their Broadway roles. The setting for the film was moved from Sweden to Austria. Stephen Sondheim wrote lyrics for the "Night Waltz" theme ("Love Takes Time") and wrote an entirely new version of "The Glamorous Life", which has been incorporated into several subsequent productions of the stage musical. However, other songs, including "In Praise of Women", "The Miller's Son" and "Liaisons", were cut and remain heard only as background orchestrations. The film marked Broadway director Hal Prince's second time as a motion picture director. Critical reaction to the film was mostly negative, with much being made of Taylor's wildly fluctuating weight from scene to scene.[30] Some critics talked more positively of the film, with Variety calling it "an elegant looking, period romantic charade".[31] There was praise for Diana Rigg's performance, and orchestrator Jonathan Tunick received an Oscar for his work on the score. A soundtrack recording was released on LP, and a DVD release was issued in June 2007.[32] Music analysis[edit] The score for A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
has elements not often found in musical theater, presenting challenges for performers, with complex meters, pitch changes, polyphony, and high notes for both males and females. The difficulty is heightened when songs merge, as in "Now"/"Later"/"Soon", because all three have to be performed in the same key, limiting the ability to pick a comfortable key for each singer. Critic Rex Reed noted that "The score of 'Night Music' ...contains patter songs, contrapuntal duets and trios, a quartet, and even a dramatic double quintet to puzzle through. All this has been gorgeously orchestrated by Jonathan Tunick; there is no rhythm section, only strings and woodwinds to carry the melodies and harmonies aloft."[33] Sondheim's engagement with threes extends to his lyrics. He organizes trios with the singers separated, while his duets are sung together, about a third person.[34] The work is performed as an operetta in many professional opera companies. For example, it was added to the New York City Opera Company repertoire in 1990.[35] 3/4 time[edit] Virtually all of the music in the show is written in waltz time (3/4). Some parts adopt compound meter, with a time signature such as 12/8.[34] Passages in "Overture", "Glamorous Life", "Liaisons", and "The Miller's Son" are in duple meter.[36] Counterpoint
Counterpoint
and polyphony[edit] At several points, Sondheim has multiple performers each sing a different song simultaneously. This use of counterpoint maintains coherence even as it extends the notion of a round, familiar in songs such as the traditional "Frère Jacques", into something more complex. Sondheim said: "As for the three songs... going together well, I might as well confess. In those days I was just getting into contrapuntal and choral writing...and I wanted to develop my technique by writing a trio. What I didn't want to do is the quodlibet method...wouldn't it be nice to have three songs you don't think are going to go together, and they do go together... The trick was the little vamp on "Soon" which has five-and six-note chords."[37] Steve Swayne comments that the "contrapuntal episodes in the extended ensembles... stand as testament to his interest in Counterpoint."[37] "Send In The Clowns"[edit] The show's best-known and Sondheim's biggest hit song was almost an afterthought, written several days before the start of out-of-town tryouts.[38] Sondheim initially conceived Desiree as a role for a more-or-less non-singing actress. When he discovered that the original Desiree, Glynis Johns, was able to sing (she had a "small, silvery voice")[39] but could not "sustain a phrase", he devised the song "Send in the Clowns" for her in a way that would work around her vocal weakness, e.g., by ending lines with consonants that made for a short cut-off.[39] "It is written in short phrases in order to be acted rather than sung...tailor-made for Glynis Johns, who lacks the vocal power to sustain long phrases."[40] In analyzing the text of the song, Max Cryer wrote that it "is not intended to be sung by the young in love, but by a mature performer who has seen it all before. The song remains an anthem to regret for unwise decisions in the past and recognition that there's no need to send in the clowns-they're already here."[41] Graham Wolfe has argued, "What Desirée is referring to in the famous song is a conventional device to cover over a moment when something has gone wrong on stage. Midway through the second Act she has deviated from her usual script by suggesting to Fredrik the possibility of being together seriously and permanently, and, having been rejected, she falters as a show-person, finds herself bereft of the capacity to improvise and wittily cover. If Desirée could perform at this moment – revert to the innuendos, one-liners and blithe self-referential humour that constitutes her normal character – all would be well. She cannot, and what follows is an exemplary manifestation of Sondheim’s musico-dramatic complexity, his inclination to write music that performs drama. That is, what needs to be covered over (by the clowns sung about in the song) is the very intensity, ragged emotion and utter vulnerability that comes forward through the music and singing itself, a display protracted to six minutes, wrought with exposed silences, a shocked Fredrik sitting so uncomfortably before Desirée while something much too real emerges in a realm where he – and his audience – felt assured of performance."[42] Influences[edit] There is a Mozart reference in the title— A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
is an occasionally used translation of Eine kleine Nachtmusik, the nickname of Mozart's Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major, K. 525. The elegant, harmonically-advanced music in this musical pays indirect homage to the compositions of Maurice Ravel, especially his Valses nobles et sentimentales[43] (whose opening chord is borrowed for the opening chord of the song "Liaisons"); part of this effect stems from the style of orchestration that Jonathan Tunick used. Cast recordings[edit]

Cast recording of 1995 National Theatre revival starring Judi Dench

In addition to the original Broadway and London cast recordings, and the motion picture soundtrack (no longer available), there are recordings of the 1990 studio cast, the 1995 Royal National Theatre revival (starring Judi Dench), and the 2001 Barcelona cast recording sung in Catalan. In 1997 an all-jazz version of the score was recorded by Terry Trotter.[44] The 2009 Broadway revival with Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones
and Angela Lansbury recorded a cast album on January 4, 2010, which was released on April 6.[45] Critical response[edit] In his review of the original 1973 Broadway production, Clive Barnes in the New York Times
New York Times
called the musical "heady, civilized, sophisticated and enchanting." He noted that "the real triumph belongs to Stephen Sondheim...the music is a celebration of 3/4 time, an orgy of plaintively memorable waltzes, all talking of past loves and lost worlds...There is a peasant touch here." He commented that the lyrics are "breathtaking".[46] In its review of the 1989 London revival, the reviewer for The Guardian wrote that the "production also strikes me as infinitely superior to Harold Prince's 1975 version at the Adelphi. Mr Judge's great innovation is to transform the Liebeslieder Singers from the evening-dressed, after-dinner line-up into 18th century ghosts weaving in and out of the action...But Mr Judge's other great realisation is that, in Sondheim, the lyrics are not an adornment to a song but their very essence: understand them and the show will flow. Thus Dorothy Tutin as Desiree, the touring thesp eventually reunited with her quondam lover, is not the melting romantic of previous productions but a working mother with the sharpness of a hat-pin."[47] The Independent
The Independent
review of the 1995 National Theatre revival praised the production, writing "For three hours of gloriously barbed bliss and bewitchment, Sean Mathias's production establishes the show as a minor miracle of astringent worldly wisdom and one that is haunted by less earthy intimations." The review went on to state that "The heart of the production, in both senses, is Judi Dench's superb Desiree Armfeldt...Her husky-voiced rendering of "Send in the Clowns" is the most moving I've ever heard."[48] In reviewing the 2008 Menier Chocolate Factory
Menier Chocolate Factory
production, the Telegraph reviewer wrote that "Sondheim's lyrics are often superbly witty, his music here, mostly in haunting waltz-time, far more accessible than is sometimes the case. The score positively throbs with love, regret and desire." But of the specific production, the reviewer went on to note: "But Nunn's production, on one of those hermetic sets largely consisting of doors and tarnished mirrors that have become such a cliché in recent years, never penetrates the work's subtly erotic heart. And as is often the case with this director's work, the pace is so slow and the mood so reverent, that initial enchantment gives way to bored fidgeting."[11] In his New York Times
New York Times
review of the 2009 Broadway production, Ben Brantley noted that "the expression that hovers over Trevor Nunn's revival...feels dangerously close to a smirk...It is a smirk shrouded in shadows. An elegiac darkness infuses this production." The production is "sparing on furniture and heavy on shadows", with "a scaled-down orchestra at lugubriously slowed-down tempos..." He goes on to write that "this somber, less-is-more approach could be effective were the ensemble plugged into the same rueful sensibility. But there is only one moment in this production when all its elements cohere perfectly. That moment, halfway through the first act, belongs to Ms. Lansbury, who has hitherto been perfectly entertaining, playing Madame Armfeldt with the overripe aristocratic condescension of a Lady Bracknell. Then comes her one solo, "Liaisons", in which her character thinks back on the art of love as a profession in a gilded age, when sex 'was but a pleasurable means to a measurable end.' Her face, with its glamour-gorgon makeup, softens, as Madame Armfeldt seems to melt into memory itself, and the wan stage light briefly appears to borrow radiance from her. It's a lovely example of the past reaching out to the present..."[49] Steven Suskin, reviewing the new Broadway cast for Variety, wrote "What a difference a diva makes. Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
steps into the six-month-old revival of 'A Little Night Music' with a transfixing performance, playing it as if she realizes her character's onstage billing -- "the one and only Desiree Armfeldt"—is cliched hyperbole. By figuratively rolling her eyes at the hype, Peters gives us a rich, warm and comedically human Desiree, which reaches full impact when she pierces the facade with a nakedly honest, tears-on-cheek 'Send in the Clowns.'"[50] Awards and nominations[edit] Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result

1973 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book of a Musical Hugh Wheeler Won

Outstanding Music Stephen Sondheim Won

Outstanding Lyrics Won

Outstanding Actress in a Musical Glynis Johns Nominated

Patricia Elliott Won

Outstanding Director Harold Prince Won

Most Promising Performer D'Jamin Bartlett Won

Grammy Award Best Musical Show Album Won

Theatre World Award Laurence Guittard Won

Patricia Elliott Won

D'Jamin Bartlett Won

Tony Award Best Musical Won

Best Book of a Musical Hugh Wheeler Won

Best Original Score Stephen Sondheim Won

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Len Cariou Nominated

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Glynis Johns Won

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Laurence Guittard Nominated

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Patricia Elliott Won

Hermione Gingold Nominated

Best Costume Design Florence Klotz Won

Best Scenic Design Boris Aronson Nominated

Best Lighting Design Tharon Musser Nominated

Best Direction of a Musical Harold Prince Nominated

1995 London revival[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result

1995 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress in a Musical Judi Dench Won

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Siân Phillips Nominated

Best Theatre Choreographer Wayne McGregor Nominated

Best Costume Design Nicky Gillibrand Nominated

2009 London Revival[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result

2010 Laurence Olivier Award Best Revival of a Musical Nominated

Best Actress in a Musical Hannah Waddingham Nominated

Best Actor in a Musical Alexander Hanson Nominated

Best Performance in a Supporting role in a Musical Maureen Lipman Nominated

Best Performance in a Supporting role in a Musical Kelly Price Nominated

2009 Broadway revival[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result

2010 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Musical Nominated

Outstanding Actress in a Musical Catherine Zeta-Jones Won

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Angela Lansbury Nominated

Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Revival of a Musical Nominated

Outstanding Actress in a Musical Catherine Zeta-Jones Won

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Angela Lansbury Nominated

Tony Award Best Revival of a Musical Nominated

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Catherine Zeta-Jones Won

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Angela Lansbury Nominated

Best Sound Design Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen Nominated

2011 Grammy Award[51] Best Musical Show Album Nominated

References[edit]

^ Gussow, Mel, "Prince Revels in 'A Little Night Music'", The New York Times, p. 54, March 27, 1973 ^ "AusStage - A Little Night Music". ausstage.edu.au. Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-09-21.  ^ "Archive: STC Musicals". Sydney Theatre Company. 2017-05-09. Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-09-21.  ^ "Send in the clones". www.theage.com.au. Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-09-21.  ^ Slavin, John (2009-05-16). "Complicated take on elusive desire - Arts - Entertainment - theage.com.au". www.theage.com.au. Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-09-21.  ^ "'A Little Night Music' tour, 1974" Archived 2017-05-13 at the Wayback Machine. sondheimguide.com, accessed March 13, 2011 ^ "Olivier Winners 1996". Archived from the original on February 13, 2012. Retrieved 2011-06-29. , OfficialLondonTheatre.com ^ Benedict, David."Waddingham to star in 'Night Music'" Archived 2008-10-16 at the Wayback Machine., Variety, October 10, 2008 ^ [1] nightmusiclondon.com Archived March 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Nightingale, Benedict."'A Little Night Music' at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London SE1" Archived 2011-06-15 at the Wayback Machine. December 5, 2008 ^ a b Spencer, Charles."'A Little Night Music' at the Menier Chocolate Factory" Archived 2009-12-09 at the Wayback Machine.The Telegraph, December 4, 2008 ^ Shenton, Mark."Isn't It Rich?: Menier 'A Little Night Music' Arrives in the West End March 28" Archived 2009-05-01 at the Wayback Machine., playbill.com, March 28, 2009 ^ Hernandez, Ernio and Gans, Andrew. "A Little Night Music, With Zeta-Jones and Lansbury, Begins on Broadway". Playbill.com, November 24, 2009 Archived March 5, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. ^ " Tony Award
Tony Award
nominees, 2009-2010". Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved May 13, 2010.  ^ Gans, Andrew. "'Isn't It Bliss?' Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
and Elaine Stritch Open in Night Music Revival Aug. 1 Archived 2010-08-02 at the Wayback Machine.. Playbill, August 1, 2010 ^ McBride, Walter."Photo Coverage: Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
and Elaine Stritch Open in 'A Little Night Music'" Archived 2010-07-16 at the Wayback Machine.. Broadwayworld.com, July 14, 2010 ^ Healy, Patrick. "Peters, Stritch To Join ‘Night Music’ Cast" Archived 2010-06-10 at the Wayback Machine.. The New York Times, June 7, 2010 ^ Rizzo, Frank. "Elaine Stritch: She's Still Here – in West Hartford". The Hartford Courant, June 10, 2010 Archived August 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. ^ " A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
Sets Closing Date; Peters and Stritch Extend" Archived 2010-10-18 at the Wayback Machine.. Broadway.com ^ Gans, Andrew. " Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
and Elaine Stritch
Elaine Stritch
Extend Run in Broadway's A Little Night Music" Archived 2010-10-08 at the Wayback Machine.. Playbill.com, October 5, 2010 ^ Gans, Andrew. Broadway's A Little Night Music, with Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch, Recoups" Archived 2011-01-09 at the Wayback Machine.. Playbill, January 6, 2011 ^ Gans, Andrew and Jones, Kenneth."Kristin Scott Thomas and Leslie Caron to Star in 'A Little Night Music' in France" Archived July 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. playbill.com, July 6, 2009 ^ Hetrick, Adam."Scacchi and Caron Sing 'A Little Night Music' in Paris Beginning Feb. 15" Archived March 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. playbill.com, February 15, 2010 ^ "Imdb". Archived from the original on 2015-06-09. Retrieved 2014-11-20.  ^ 1990 New York City Opera
New York City Opera
Production Archived 2017-05-13 at the Wayback Machine. sondheimguide.com, accessed October 21, 2012 ^ 2003 New York City Opera
New York City Opera
Production Archived 2017-05-13 at the Wayback Machine. sondheimguide.com, accessed October 21, 2012 ^ A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
Archived 2012-03-03 at the Wayback Machine., Opera Australia ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Mizrahi-Helmed 'Night Music', with Irving, Phillips and Raines, Opens in St. Louis" Archived June 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. playbill.com, June 6, 2010 ^ https://www.rada.ac.uk/whats-on/rada-productions/2390-a-little-night-music#footer_main[permanent dead link] ^ Canby, Vincent. "Review: A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
(1977)", The New York Times, March 8, 1978 ^ [2] variety.com ^ A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
on IMDb ^ Deutsch, Didier C."'A Little Night Music' Liner Notes, Song List and Synopsis" Archived 2011-01-05 at the Wayback Machine. masterworksbroadway.com, retrieved June 9, 2010 ^ a b Sondheim, Stephen; Prince, Hal; Tunick, Neal (November 30, 1973). A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
(Libretto). Archived from the original on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2009.  ^ Green, Kay. "Broadway Musicals, Show By Show" (1996). Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 0-7935-7750-0, p. 237 ^ Citron, p. 204 ^ a b Swayne, Steve. How Sondheim Found His Sound, University of Michigan Press, 2007, ISBN 0-472-03229-1, p. 251 ^ Citron, p. 207 ^ a b Secrest, Meryle. "Stephen Sondheim: A Life" (1998). Dell Publishing. ISBN 0-385-33412-5, pp. 251-252 ^ Sondheim, S., Shevelove, B., Gelbart, L., Wheeler, H., and Lapine, J. "Four by Sondheim, Wheeler, Lapine, Shevelove and Gelbart" (2000). Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 1-55783-407-5, p. 170 ^ Cryer, Max. Love Me Tender: The Stories Behind the World's Best-loved Frances Lincoln Ltd, 2008, ISBN 0-7112-2911-2, p. 171 ^ Wolfe, Graham. "Sondheim's A Little Night Music: Reconciling the Comic and the Sublime." Studies in Musical Theatre 8.2 (2014): 143-157. ^ Citron, Stephen. pp. 200, 203 ^ "Recordings, 'A Little Night Music'" Archived 2010-02-23 at the Wayback Machine. sondheimguide.com, retrieved June 8, 2010 ^ Hetrick, Adam and Jones, Kenneth."'A Little Night Music' CD Released April 6; Sondheim and Co. Host Signing" Archived June 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. playbill.com, April 6, 2010 ^ Barnes, Clive, "The Theater:'A Little Night Music", The New York Times, February 26, 1973, p. 26 ^ Billington, Michael. "Arts: Night of the short memories - 'A Little Night Music'", The Guardian
The Guardian
(London)., October 23, 1989 (no page number) ^ Taylor, Paul and Seckerson, Edward."Double Take: Reviews: 'A Little Night Music'" Archived 2017-01-16 at the Wayback Machine.Independent', September 1995 ^ Brantley, Ben (2009-12-14). "A Weekend in the Country With Eros and Thanatos". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2017-03-13. Retrieved 2017-07-14.  ^ Suskin, Steven (2010-08-02). "Review: 'A Little Night Music'". Variety. Archived from the original on 2018-02-09. Retrieved 2017-07-14.  ^ Gans, Andrew."Idiot, Fela!, Night Music, Promises and Sondheim Are Grammy-Nominated" Archived 2010-12-06 at the Wayback Machine. playbill.com, December 1, 2010

Bibliography[edit]

Citron, Stephen. "Sondheim and Lloyd-Webber: The New Musical" (2001). Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0-19-509601-0 Wolfe, Graham. “Sondheim’s A Little Night Music: Reconciling the Comic and the Sublime.” Studies in Musical Theatre 8.2 (2014): 143–157.

External links[edit]

A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
at the Internet Broadway Database A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
on The Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
Reference Guide A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
at the Music Theatre International website A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
info page on StageAgent.com - A Little Night Music plot summary & character descriptions A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
- A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
Broadway Revival "Sondheim's A Little Night Music: Reconciling the Comic and the Sublime" by Graham Wolfe

v t e

Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night

Adaptations

A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
(1973 musical) A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
(1977 film) A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
(1982 film)

Songs

"Send in the Clowns"

v t e

Musicals by Stephen Sondheim

Saturday Night West Side Story Gypsy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Anyone Can Whistle Do I Hear a Waltz? Evening Primrose The Race to Urga Company Follies A Little Night Music The Frogs Pacific Overtures Side by Side by Sondheim Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Marry Me a Little Merrily We Roll Along Sunday in the Park with George Into the Woods Assassins Putting It Together Passion Road Show Sondheim on Sondheim

v t e

Tony Award
Tony Award
for Best Musical

1949-1975

Kiss Me, Kate
Kiss Me, Kate
(1949) South Pacific (1950) Guys and Dolls
Guys and Dolls
(1951) The King and I
The King and I
(1952) Wonderful Town
Wonderful Town
(1953) Kismet (1954) The Pajama Game
The Pajama Game
(1955) Damn Yankees
Damn Yankees
(1956) My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady
(1957) The Music Man
The Music Man
(1958) Redhead (1959) The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music
/ Fiorello!
Fiorello!
(1960) Bye Bye Birdie
Bye Bye Birdie
(1961) How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1962) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
(1963) Hello, Dolly! (1964) Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof
(1965) Man of La Mancha
Man of La Mancha
(1966) Cabaret (1967) Hallelujah, Baby!
Hallelujah, Baby!
(1968) 1776 (1969) Applause (1970) Company (1971) Two Gentlemen of Verona (1972) A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
(1973) Raisin (1974) The Wiz
The Wiz
(1975)

1976-2000

A Chorus Line
A Chorus Line
(1976) Annie (1977) Ain't Misbehavin' (1978) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979) Evita (1980) 42nd Street (1981) Nine (1982) Cats (1983) La Cage aux Folles (1984) Big River (1985) Drood
Drood
(1986) Les Misérables (1987) The Phantom of the Opera (1988) Jerome Robbins' Broadway
Jerome Robbins' Broadway
(1989) City of Angels (1990) The Will Rogers Follies
Follies
(1991) Crazy for You (1992) Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993) Passion (1994) Sunset Boulevard (1995) Rent (1996) Titanic (1997) The Lion King (1998) Fosse
Fosse
(1999) Contact (2000)

2001-present

The Producers (2001) Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002) Hairspray (2003) Avenue Q
Avenue Q
(2004) Monty Python's Spamalot
Spamalot
(2005) Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys
(2006) Spring Awakening (2007) In the Heights
In the Heights
(2008) Billy Elliot the Musical
Billy Elliot the Musical
(2009) Memphis (2010) The Book of Mormon (2011) Once (2012) Kinky Boots (2013) A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
(2014) Fun Home (2015) Hamilton (2016) Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen
(2017)

v t e

Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical

1950–1975

South Pacific by Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Hammerstein II
and Joshua Logan (1950) Hello, Dolly! by Michael Stewart (1964) Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof
by Joseph Stein (1965) Company by George Furth (1971) Two Gentlemen of Verona by John Guare
John Guare
and Mel Shapiro (1972) A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
by Hugh Wheeler (1973) Candide by Hugh Wheeler (1974) Shenandoah by James Lee Barrett, Peter Udell and Philip Rose (1975)

1976–2000

A Chorus Line
A Chorus Line
by James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante (1976) Annie by Thomas Meehan (1977) On the Twentieth Century by Betty Comden
Betty Comden
and Adolph Green
Adolph Green
(1978) Sweeney Todd
Sweeney Todd
by Hugh Wheeler (1979) Evita by Tim Rice
Tim Rice
(1980) Woman of the Year by Peter Stone (1981) Dreamgirls by Tom Eyen (1982) Cats by T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
(1983) La Cage aux Folles by Harvey Fierstein
Harvey Fierstein
(1984) Big River by William Hauptman (1985) Drood
Drood
by Rupert Holmes (1986) Les Misérables by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg (1987) Into the Woods
Into the Woods
by James Lapine
James Lapine
(1988) No Award (1989) City of Angels by Larry Gelbart
Larry Gelbart
(1990) The Secret Garden by Marsha Norman
Marsha Norman
(1991) Falsettos by William Finn
William Finn
and James Lapine
James Lapine
(1992) Kiss of the Spider Woman by Terrence McNally
Terrence McNally
(1993) Passion by James Lapine
James Lapine
(1994) Sunset Boulevard by Don Black and Christopher Hampton
Christopher Hampton
(1995) Rent by Jonathan Larson (1996) Titanic by Peter Stone (1997) Ragtime by Terrence McNally
Terrence McNally
(1998) Parade by Alfred Uhry
Alfred Uhry
(1999) James Joyce's The Dead
James Joyce's The Dead
by Richard Nelson (2000)

2001–present

The Producers by Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks
and Thomas Meehan (2001) Urinetown
Urinetown
by Greg Kotis (2002) Hairspray by Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell
Mark O'Donnell
(2003) Avenue Q
Avenue Q
by Jeff Whitty (2004) The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
by Rachel Sheinkin (2005) The Drowsy Chaperone
The Drowsy Chaperone
by Bob Martin and Don McKellar
Don McKellar
(2006) Spring Awakening by Steven Sater (2007) Passing Strange by Stew (2008) Billy Elliot the Musical
Billy Elliot the Musical
by Lee Hall (2009) Memphis by Joe DiPietro (2010) The Book of Mormon by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez
Robert Lopez
and Matt Stone
Matt Stone
(2011) Once by Enda Walsh
Enda Walsh
(2012) Matilda the Musical
Matilda the Musical
by Dennis Kelly (2013) A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
by Robert L. Freedman (2014) Fun Home by Lisa Kron (2015) Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda
(2016) Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen
by Steven Levenson (2017)

v t e

Tony Award
Tony Award
for Best Original Score

1947-1975

Street Scene by Kurt Weill
Kurt Weill
(1947) Kiss Me, Kate
Kiss Me, Kate
by Cole Porter
Cole Porter
(1949) South Pacific by Richard Rodgers
Richard Rodgers
(1950) Call Me Madam
Call Me Madam
by Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin
(1951) No Strings
No Strings
by Richard Rodgers
Richard Rodgers
(1962) Oliver!
Oliver!
by Lionel Bart
Lionel Bart
(1963) Hello, Dolly! by Jerry Herman
Jerry Herman
(1964) Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof
by Jerry Bock
Jerry Bock
and Sheldon Harnick
Sheldon Harnick
(1965) Man of La Mancha
Man of La Mancha
by Mitch Leigh
Mitch Leigh
and Joe Darion (1966) Cabaret by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Fred Ebb
(1967) Hallelujah, Baby!
Hallelujah, Baby!
by Jule Styne, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green
Adolph Green
(1968) Company by Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
(1971) Follies
Follies
by Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
(1972) A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
by Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
(1973) Gigi by Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
(1974) The Wiz
The Wiz
by Charlie Smalls
Charlie Smalls
(1975)

1976-2000

A Chorus Line
A Chorus Line
by Marvin Hamlisch
Marvin Hamlisch
and Edward Kleban (1976) Annie by Charles Strouse
Charles Strouse
and Martin Charnin (1977) On the Twentieth Century by Cy Coleman, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green (1978) Sweeney Todd
Sweeney Todd
by Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
(1979) Evita by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
and Tim Rice
Tim Rice
(1980) Woman of the Year by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Fred Ebb
(1981) Nine by Maury Yeston (1982) Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
and T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
(1983) La Cage aux Folles by Jerry Herman
Jerry Herman
(1984) Big River by Roger Miller
Roger Miller
(1985) Drood
Drood
by Rupert Holmes (1986) Les Misérables by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer, and Alain Boublil (1987) Into the Woods
Into the Woods
by Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
(1988) City of Angels by Cy Coleman
Cy Coleman
and David Zippel (1990) The Will Rogers Follies
Follies
by Cy Coleman, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green (1991) Falsettos by William Finn
William Finn
(1992) Kiss of the Spider Woman by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Fred Ebb
/ The Who's Tommy by Pete Townshend
Pete Townshend
(1993) Passion by Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
(1994) Sunset Boulevard by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black, and Christopher Hampton (1995) Rent by Jonathan Larson (1996) Titanic by Maury Yeston (1997) Ragtime by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (1998) Parade by Jason Robert Brown
Jason Robert Brown
(1999) Aida by Elton John
Elton John
and Tim Rice
Tim Rice
(2000)

2001-present

The Producers by Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks
(2001) Urinetown
Urinetown
by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis (2002) Hairspray by Marc Shaiman
Marc Shaiman
and Scott Wittman (2003) Avenue Q
Avenue Q
by Robert Lopez
Robert Lopez
and Jeff Marx
Jeff Marx
(2004) The Light in the Piazza by Adam Guettel
Adam Guettel
(2005) The Drowsy Chaperone
The Drowsy Chaperone
by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison (2006) Spring Awakening by Duncan Sheik
Duncan Sheik
and Steven Sater (2007) In the Heights
In the Heights
by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda
(2008) Next to Normal
Next to Normal
by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (2009) Memphis by David Bryan
David Bryan
and Joe DiPietro (2010) The Book of Mormon by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez
Robert Lopez
and Matt Stone
Matt Stone
(2011) Newsies by Alan Menken
Alan Menken
and Jack Feldman (2012) Kinky Boots by Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper
(2013) The Bridges of Madison County by Jason Robert Brown
Jason Robert Brown
(2014) Fun Home by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron (2015) Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda
(2016) Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen
by Benj Pasek and Justin

.