NEW PALTZ — In an entertaining look at the songs that got away, New Paltz Summer Repertory Theatre presents Marry Me A Little, a charming and ingeniously-constructed “revusical” told entirely through songs either written early in Stephen Sondheim’s career (including numbers from that new classic Saturday Night) or cut from his groundbreaking Broadway musicals (A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies and A Little Night Music). The cast features Chris Fuller and Holly Davis, both members of Actor’s Equity Association. Paul Kassel directs.
Originally conceived by playwright Craig Lucas (The Light in the Piazza, Prelude To A Kiss) and Norman Rene, Marry Me a Little tells a charming tale of love, loneliness and survival as a modern-day single. Set in a coffee bar on a Saturday night, a young man and woman reveal sweetly secret, unshared fantasies about their past loves – each wondering if they still have the courage to risk heartbreak in order to find romantic happiness again.
“The show’s original premise has the characters living separately in two apartments one above the other,” says Paul Kassel, who directs the Summer Repertory Theatre production. “This scenario provided little room for interaction between the characters, and in the final sequence of the musical, their fate is ambiguous. In our production, we have set the action in a coffee bar, where the two characters meet by chance after having already met at a party. They share stories, reveal their hopes and fears, and make a tentative connection. The central question is no longer ‘will they meet,’ but after having met and revealed so much about themselves, will they risk falling in love again.”
A must for Sondheim aficionados, the show originated in 1980, when Craig Lucas, the playwright who had been in the chorus of Sweeny Todd, asked it’s composer/lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, if he could let him have some songs for a show he had been asked to create. Sondheim obliged by sending him 45 unpublished numbers, 17 of which Lucas chose and fashioned into a story.
While the songs may not be familiar, they have a pleasantly familiar Sondheim ring – especially in the witty and often bittersweet lyrics. Within the structure of connecting the songs as a chronicle of two people missing-taking-missing opportunities for love happily ever after, Marry Me a Little adds up to a splendidly unified sum of its twenty-one parts.
Actress Holly Davis’ credits include the national tours of South Pacific (Nelly Forbush) and The Sound of Music (Maria). She has performed in regional theatres throughout the country. Chris Fuller credits include the lead role of F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Prospect Theater Company’s production of The Pursuit of Persephone, along with regional and stock credits throughout the east coast.
Marry Me A Little runs July 14-24 in Parker Theatre, SUNY New Paltz. Evening performances begin at 8pm on July 14-17, 21-24. Matinee performances begin at 2pm on July 16, 17, 23, and 24. Tickets are $22, with discounts for seniors and students. To order by phone call 845-257-3880. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 11:30am – 4:30pm. To order online visit www.newpaltz.edu/summerrep.
Images to accompany this release are available at http://www.newpaltz.edu/news/images/Marry96-07-05.html