Love, jealously, secrets and catchy songs. These things all have one thing in common; they are a part of the Drake Theatre Arts Department’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music.” The show opens tonight at 8 p.m.
Although she previously directed shows around the Des Moines area, this marks Dr. Deena J. Conley’s directorial debut at Drake.
“The show’s about romance, and this is lovely at a time when there’s so many vicious plays,” said Conley, chair of the Drake Theatre Arts Department.
Set in Sweden during the early 1900s, the show follows the romantic entanglements of several couples. The principal plot line follows Fredrick Egerman, played by sophomore Hayden Kraus. While trying to be content with his new, young wife, Egerman finds himself caught up with an old love as well.
“To prepare for this role, I had to think of a teenager in an adult man’s body,” Kraus said. “He is trapped in the life he wants rather than the life he has.”
Sophomore Katie Hahn also found she was a playing a character completely opposite of herself. Hahn plays the role of Egerman’s young, naïve wife, Anne.
“Honestly, I think if I met her, I would not be friends with her because of how annoyingly green she is,” Hahn said. “I took some of the most annoying qualities that I have observed in people and amplified them.”
Getting into character was not the most challenging thing this cast faced. Part of the reason Conley wanted to do this musical was because it would be vocally challenging.
“These are not easy tunes to sing,” Conley said. “Catchy, but not easy.”
Since September, the cast and crew have been working to ensure audiences will enjoy the musical as much as they enjoyed putting it together. Rehearsals run Monday through Friday from 6-10 p.m., along with a few weekend rehearsals where cast and crew worked from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
“The reality is, it takes a lot to do what we do,” Conley said.
However, the cast did not sit around complaining about the time commitment.
“This is what I plan to do after I get out of school,” Kraus said. “So I enjoy every minute it.”
The crew’s dedication will hopefully pay off during performances. But the message of “A Little Night Music” is what the cast wants the audience to focus on and relate to.
“The show’s about accepting the fact that we all may be adults on the outside, but on the inside there is always a younger version of ourselves really analyzing what we want out of life,” Kraus said.
If the audience does not walk away with that message, then the spectators will at least walk away with a few laughs.
“The jokes fit the time period but still appeal to universal humor,” Hahn said. “They are witting and at times a bit raunchy.”
The show runs today through Saturday at 8 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Upcoming Shows…Nov. 10-12 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. in the Harmon Fine Arts Center
Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for seniors and students with a Drake ID