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I haven't seen the new version of Nine. I didn't care for the Broadway production, so am taking a pass on the revival. I did see Night Music at NYCO.

I didn't see the original Broadway production of Night Music but did see NYCO's version in its first incarnation. I've always loved the score.

Sondheim is known for liking actors who can sing but his characters announce themselves through the music, which is very complex. So to really convey the character, the actor has to be able to handle the score. Jeremy Irons, a marvelous actor, still seemed very uncomfortable with his songs when I saw the production on Wed. So the character didn't really come through until the "Send in the Clowns" scene - nearly the end of the show. From then on, he was wonderful and his final scene with Stevenson was brillant and moving. He really showed us a man who discovered who he loved and what he wanted to live for.

Stevenson, who apparently struggled with her singing on opening night, had settled into the role. She handled the songs well and with her charmingly throaty speaking voice was the perfect world weary actress looking for love. Her rueful version of "Send in the Clowns" was very different from Glynis Johns' but very effective.

Claire Bloom talked/sang her number with ease and charm. Still beautiful, one could well believe that she had many lovers.

The rest of the cast was easily able to handle the singing with nice performances from Mark Kadish as the Count, Michele Pawk as the Countess and the young lovers did a good job as well.

I'm not sure this intimate show is at its best in the State Theatre but I'm glad I saw the production. The final moments of the show will stay with me for a long time.

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Thanks for the report liebs! I wish I could have fit "A Little Night Music" into my recent, brief visit to NY. I always make myself see new stuff. I do have a video of the original incarnation of NYCO - "A Little Night Music" and I like the production very much.

As for the original production of "Nine", I was blown away by the 21 incredibly beautiful women. Not only were they beautiful but they were as talented as they were beautiful. I also liked the music and the sets a lot. I'm very curious as to how this production will compare.

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NINE at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre - Saturday, April 5, 2003 2pm.

The RoundAbout Theatre Company production of NINE is precisely my cup of tea, though one could hardly call it a cup of tea. It is a feast!

The leads are: Antonio Banderas (Guido), Laura Benanti (Claudia), Jane Krakowski (Carla), Mary Stuart Masterson (Louisa), and Chita Rivera (La Fleur).

Book is by Arthur Kopit, music and lyrics by Maury Yeston. The choreography is by Jonathan Butterell and the director is David Leveaux.

I don't want to say too much about this because I don't want to give anything away for the lucky people who might see it. I really hope Leigh, Mel or Manhattnik will see it and write a review.

For me it was a blitz of beauty, pain and beauty. Many surprises, in many ways. Antonio Banderas has just the right charisma (every woman in the cast truly seems in love with him), innocence, and restraint. Laura Benanti has a beautiful voice and look. Mary Stuart Masterson is a wonderful actress and a surprisingly excellent singer/dancer. Jane Krakowski - what can I say? I am in love! Not by just her amazing performance but by her bows. Chita Rivera still commands the stage (maybe they should try to steal her for Mamma Rose, a few blocks away).

The direction, sets, costumes, lights all top notch. This is David Leveaux's first musical. I can't imagine how he can top this effort, but I guess that is why I take a taxi from Kennedy to the box office to try to get a ticket and he directs. :)

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Thanks for keeping me posted Dirac. :)

"NINE" is stunning and if the hoards of people waiting outside the theatre, post performance (my first time ever standing outside a stage door for autographs) indicates anything, I would not be surprised to see this special show held over.

Don't count out what Mendes did with "GYPSY". The show is a delight.

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Cast changes for NINE.

Rebecca Luker is already in as Claudia.

Starting Oct 7, John Stamos will play Guido, Jenna Elfman will play Carla and Eartha Kitt will play Lillian LaFlur.

Rebecca Luker will remain with the cast as Claudia and Mary Stuart Masterson will continue playing Louisa.

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