USA Today seems to have had a fair bit of coverage of A Little Night Music, including interviews with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Angela Lansbury and Stephen Sondheim himself.
The first article I saw was an interview with Zeta-Jones, some of which was ported over to BroadwayWorld. Says Zeta-Jones:
I want to do a straight play next. And one of my biggest dreams is to do a one-woman show, with dancing and singing. I just have to figure out the concept.
I wonder what play, or kind of play, she’s thinking of and what kind of material she’d perform in her one-woman show. Anyway, it took me ages to find the original article on USA Today and was surprised (kinda, but not deeply, I suppose) that BroadwayWorld had left out the stuff that deals specifically with the rehearsals for A Little Night Music, for example:
I pretty much spoke (“Send in the Clowns”) in rehearsals. You can’t compete with all the great voices that have sung it…. it isn’t a song you should belt. It’s more of an acting piece.
But better yet is this great interview with Lansbury and Sondheim: “Side by Side: Stephen Sondheim and Angela Lansbury on a lifetime in theater” Some of the best bits:
Angela Lansbury: I began my professional career in cabaret—in a Russian nightclub in Montreal called the Samovar. I sang a lot of Noël Coward, and an arrangement of “I Went to a Marvelous Party” with coloratura, contralto, mock German. I had ideas of singing, but it was always a character singing, never straight singing.
Stephen Sondheim: Angie came over one afternoon while we were in rehearsal and said, “Cora is a cartoon, and I don’t know how to play a cartoon. I’m not that kind of performer.” I said, not bluntly, “You read the script and you knew she was a kind of Kay Thompson substitute—the whole idea is that her heartlessness and banality would be reflected in my heartless, jazzy nightclub numbers.” She had trouble with that—I’m putting words in your mouth, Angie—because there was no there there. I didn’t know what I could do about that, but then she added, “And Lee [Remick, the other female lead] has five songs while I have four.” I said: “That I can solve.”
The new song he wrote was “A Parade in Town”! And then this little exchange wraps up the Anyone Can Whistle segment:
Jesse Green: She’d been through the London Blitz—she’s a trouper.
Stephen Sondheim: And she’d been through Arthur.
That might be the best thing I’ve read all week. There are many other anecdotes about Gypsy, Sweeney Todd and A Little Night Music. It’s a very enjoyable conversation to read. I only wish it was longer!