A big show for a ‘little night’

Three student actresses, from left, Anne Labranche, Rachel Davis and Elizabeth Langley pretend to be over dramatic actresses  for a scene during  “A Little Night Music.”

Three student actresses, from left, Anne Labranche, Rachel Davis and Elizabeth Langley pretend to be over dramatic actresses  for a scene during  “A Little Night Music.”
Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

As the sun went down in downtown Hammond, the curtains went up in the Columbia Theatre.

The university’s Opera/Music Theatre Workshop put on the musical “A Little Night Music” Thursday, Sept. 29 and Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. The play circulated around themes of love and betrayal, both old and new, as it followed the complex relationships of main characters Désirée Armfeldt, played by Rachel Davis and Fredrick Egerman, played by Alfred Harper. Written by Hugh Wheeler, the story took place in Sweden in 1900.

The actors enjoyed being a part of the production and working with the crew and fellow actors. 

 

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“I thought it was really exciting,” said Harper. “It was my first lead role. This is my second show here. I loved it. I loved doing it. I loved acting with the people. The director’s really cool and the conductor loved doing it. I loved acting with the people. The director’s really cool and the conductor was very organized.” 

In the musical, the webs of sex and youth entangled Egerman who realized too late that he had “no intention of being saved.” Infidelity was a common aspect throughout the play, one that almost all characters partook in. 

The audience appreciated the character growth that occurred throughout the production. 

“I thought it was great,” said Olivia Waguespack, a senior general studies major. “I liked the story line and I thought that the characters really progressed throughout the show.” 

The musical shifted from childlike antics in the first act to a more serious, mind-opening tone in the second act. 

An orchestra played music behind the curtain to the enjoyment of the audience.

“The orchestra is what I’m here for,” said Brandon Domingue, a junior music major.

Even the parents of actors and musicians enjoyed the music. 

“I thought it was great,” said Greg Labranche, father of actress Anne Labranche, who played Mrs. Anderssen. “The music program here is very good.”

Throughout the musical, Madame Armfeldt, played by Kay Schepker, provided advice. It was through her teachings that her granddaughter Fredrika Armfeldt, played by Kaylin Guillory, learned the “secrets to life” as the audience roared with laughter at the blunt words of wisdom. 

The play was successful in spite of some technical difficulties. 

“I thought the actors were great and I thought the lighting was a little off, but I don’t think that’s the fault of anyone,” said Veronica Hall, a music major.

Another actor found they did well after everything that happened backstage.

“It was excellent actually,” said Jeremy Guillot, who played Bertrand. “This was the best run we’ve done yet even with tech, lights and everything that went wrong backstage. Everything just came together tonight. It was wonderful.” 

Charles Effler, musical director, conductor and producer put an abundance of effort into making this musical a success, as well as making it enjoyable for the students.

“It was so much work and took so many hours, but it was the highlight of my day,” said Guillot. “It was what I looked forward to at the end of the day, but it was also what I dreaded.”

Interim Executive Director of the Columbia Theatre C. Roy Blackwood praised Effler for his ability to direct. “I think Chuck Effler does a phenomenal job,” said Blackwood. “I think he maximizes the abilities of the students, so he’s a real crowd pleaser.”

Mrs. Egerman attempts to reassure Mr. Egerman about his current life situation.

Mrs. Egerman attempts to reassure Mr. Egerman about his current life situation.
Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

 

Désirée Armfeldt, played by Rachel Davis is commenting on her life complexities to her daughter, Fredrika Armfeldt played by Kaylin Guillory, after being surprised by a visit from Count  Malcom, played by Robert Roy.

Désirée Armfeldt, played by Rachel Davis is commenting on her life complexities to her daughter, Fredrika Armfeldt played by Kaylin Guillory, after being surprised by a visit from Count  Malcom, played by Robert Roy.
Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Egerman, played by Alfred Harper, top, is confused by the hilarious dialogue his maid Petra, played by Jane Wear, and Mrs. Egerman, played by Randi Gaspard are engaging in.

Mr. Egerman, played by Alfred Harper, top, is confused by the hilarious dialogue his maid Petra, played by Jane Wear, and Mrs. Egerman, played by Randi Gaspard are engaging in.
Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

 

 

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