Seven months after Quad City Music Guild stages its biggest show ever – November’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” – the Moline community theater will return to another Stephen Sondheim classic.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the QCMG Board of Directors has voted to cancel the planned June 2024 production of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” and substitute it with Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music,” a popular operetta that features his best-known song, “Send in the Clowns.”
A director has already been approved, as well as five other staff positions that were presented for approval at Music Guild’s annual meeting Tuesday, Oct. 24. This decision was not made lightly but was necessary to make a speedy decision, board president Sheri Brown Olson said in a social media post.
“Every season, the Show Selection Committee takes the selection of the season very seriously and not without a healthy discussion,” she wrote. “Each year we take a risk that the right person or persons may not step forward to helm each of our 5 productions.
“This year, we ran into that exact situation,” Olson said, noting QCMG didn’t have a production staff for “Beautiful.” “It was a big upset to our season and our organization. I do believe that with all things we grow and learn. I am hopeful, that this will give the organization an opportunity to grow and find new and creative ways to adapt to a changing world through outreach and the show we select.”
“Beautiful” tells the early life story of singer-songwriter Carole King, and features many of her hits like “So Far Away,” “It’s Too Late,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Up on the Roof,” “I Feel The Earth Move” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
It opened on Broadway in 2014 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre and ran for 2,418 regular performances.
“A Little Night Music” – which is notable for having a score written entirely in variations of waltz (such as 3/4, 6/8 or 12/8) time – opened in 1973 (co-starring Len Cariou, the original Broadway Sweeney Todd) and closed after 601 performances.
Thirty years after the debut of the bloody “Sweeney,” the original co-star Angela Lansbury stepped into a 2009 Broadway revival of “Night Music,” as Madame Armfeldt and, in her Broadway debut, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Desiree.
QCMG’s “Sweeney Todd” (starring Rob Keech as the demon barber and Shana Kulhavy as his pie-shop owner accomplice Mrs. Lovett) will be performed at the Prospect Park theater in Moline Nov. 10-12 and 17-19, 2023. For more information, click HERE.