Arts & Theater

Review: Compact ‘Marry me a Little’ entertains completely

Bradford Anderson and Kiera Anderson in “Marry Me a Little” at New Helvetia Theatre, December 2014
Bradford Anderson and Kiera Anderson in “Marry Me a Little” at New Helvetia Theatre, December 2014

In this season of gift giving, there is a wholly unexpected but thoroughly satisfying little year-end surprise at New Helvetia Theatre.

“Marry Me A Little,” a charming and bittersweet song cycle of displaced Stephen Sondheim gems starring Kiera Anderson and Bradford Anderson, works musical theater magic in a compact show that runs a little more than an hour.

The Andersons, who are married in real life, play single New Yorkers negotiating a restless night of hopeful longing in their separate apartments, which share the same emotional space. The show was originally conceived by Craig Lucas and Norman René from Sondheim material cut from well-known produced shows including “Follies,” “Saturday Night” and “A Little Night Music.” What we get are beautifully melodic sharply literate songs performed with wit and heart.

Kiera Anderson, who was so bright and artful in New Helvetia’s “Ordinary Days” last year, is equally affecting here with her silky, comic timing and cool vulnerability. She moves easily from the vaudevillian double entendre of “Boy Can That Boy Foxtrot” and the boisterous “The Girls of Summer” to the melancholy bargain of the lovely title song.

Bradford Anderson gracefully carries his half of the disconnected couple with the wistful ballads “Happily Ever After” and “Your Eyes Are Blue.”

Connor Mickiewicz directed with decisive understanding of the material and his performers’ strengths. Chris Schlagel provides the sure piano accompaniment.

RELATED:

Sacramento’s New Helvetia to stage Sondheim song cycle

Call The Bee’s Marcus Crowder, (916) 321-1120. Follow him on Twitter @marcuscrowder.

Marry Me a Little

What: Kiera Anderson and Bradford Anderson star in Stephen Sondheim’s song cycle

When: Continues 8 p.m. Dec.17-20; 2 p.m. matinee Dec. 20; 7 p.m. Dec. 21 (last show)

Where: New Helvetia Theatre, 1028 R St., Sacramento

Cost: $30 general admission

Information: www.newhelvetia.org; (916) 917-0024

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