Theatre UAB presents entrancing, witty Sondheim musical “A Little Night Music” from April 5-9

As Theatre UAB’s musical theater BFA program grows, students are up to the challenge of this sophisticated Stephen Sondheim musical, which includes his most popular song, “Send in the Clowns.”

night musicTheatre UAB will present four-time Tony Award-winner “A Little Night Music,” an entrancing musical that explores the tangled web of affairs of actress Desirée Armfeldt and the men who love her, April 5-9.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler, this hilariously witty musical with heartbreaking moments of adoration, regret and desire features Sondheim’s haunting melody “Send in the Clowns.”

Theatre UAB is the performance company of the University of Alabama at Birmingham College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Theatre.

Shows are at 7:30 p.m. April 5-8 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 9, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Sirote Theatre. This play has adult themes. Tickets are $15 and $20, $6 for students, and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or go to Visit Theatre UAB online at

“A Little Night Music” opened on Broadway in 1973. Based on the Ingmar Bergman film, “Smiles of a Summer Night,” “A Little Night Music” follows the love affairs of actress Armfeldt as she invites her married lover Fredrick Egerman and his family to her mother’s country estate for the weekend. Head of Musical Theatre Valerie Accetta directs the production, with musical direction by Carolyn Violi. It is a wonderfully sophisticated and witty musical, and the director of the original Broadway production, Hal Prince, described it as “whipped cream with knives,” Accetta says.

Shows are at 7:30 p.m. April 5-8 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 9, in the Sirote Theatre. This play has adult themes. Tickets are $15 and $20, $6 for students, and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or go to

“As the BFA Musical Theatre Program grows — we will have our first graduates next year — it was important to me to give our students an opportunity to explore a musical by Stephen Sondheim, whose work requires full, accurate singing and delivering the text with nuance and specificity,” Accetta said. “‘A Little Night Music’ provides this challenge, and the students — including a number of freshmen in leading roles — are relishing the chance to perform such rich, humorous and layered characters, while being challenged vocally.”

Through the rehearsals, members of the cast are exploring the complexities of relationships, from the hope and optimism of new, young love to the desire and regret of more mature love, Accetta says. These feelings are summed up in Sondheim’s most popular song, “Send in the Clowns.”

“Almost the entire score is composed in rhythmic denominations of three, giving the music a dance-like feel as the characters waltz around their memories, emotions and relationships,” Accetta said.

The UAB Department of Theatre’s production of “A Little Night Music” is also giving its designers and technical students a valuable opportunity.

“It may very well be the largest costume show we have done since I have been at UAB, with most of the period dresses being built from scratch and designed by Kimberly Schnormeier,” Accetta said. “The set, designed by Cliff Simon, is beautifully painted and moves seemingly effortlessly through many different locations. Additionally, we will be utilizing the orchestra pit, as our music director, Carolyn Violi, conducts a large orchestra, which will include a harpist.”

The cast is Clara Holmes of Grand Blanc, Michigan, as Desirée Armfeldt; Brian Wittenberg of Johns Creek, Georgia, as Fredrik Egerman; Alicia Batterson of Columbus, Ohio, as Anne Egerman; Ben Lundy of Fairhope as Henrik Egerman; Rachel Biggs of Lubbock, Texas, as Petra; Alyse Rosenblatt of Plano, Texas, as Countess Charlotte Malcolm; Chris Charleston of Detroit, Michigan, as Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm; Marissa Hebson of Pinson as Madame Armfeldt; Elizabeth Forman of St. Petersburg, Florida, as Fredrika; Royzell Walker of Cincinnati, Ohio, as Mr. Erlansson; Jeremy Richarson of Mobile as Mr. Lindquist; Meredith Morse of Westerville, Ohio, as Mrs. Segstrom; Taylor Stefanski of Racine, Wisconsin, as Mrs. Anderssen; Kayli Porter of Bessemer as Mrs. Nordstrom; Mark Nelson of Fort Payne as Frid; Joey Parker of Kansas City, Missouri, as Bertrand; Peyton Overstreet of Tallahassee, Florida, as Osa; and Lilly Bateh of Jacksonville, Florida, as Malla.

The production’s stage manager is Rachel Walsh of Johns Creek, Georgia, with assistant stage managers Noah Parsons of Pell City and ​Kyle Bookout of Waller, Texas.

Assistant director is Holly Morgan of Madison. Scenic designer is Cliff Simon, and assistant scenic designer is Olivia Skillern of Madison. Costume designer is Kimberly Schnormeier. Lighting designer is Kelly Allison. Sound designer is Jay Tumminello. Properties master is J. Marc Quattlebaum.

  • April 5