''{{A Little Night Music}}'' is a musical with music and lyrics by {{Stephen Sondheim}} and book by Hugh Wheeler, [[AllMusicalsAreAdaptations based on]] the Ingmar Bergman film ''Smiles of a Summer Night''. The score is notable for having been written almost entirely in waltz time (3/4) or multiples thereof, and is considered one of Sondheim's greatest works (it's also one of the lightest and most accessible, ''[[AFunnyThingHappenedOnTheWayToTheForum Forum]]'' and ''IntoTheWoods'' aside, which makes it a great introduction for nascent Sondheim fans). It concerns a series of interconnected {{Love Triangle}}s, which end up resolving themselves on a summer's night.

The plot, set in Sweden around 1900, is centered around a rekindled romance between just-barely-fading starlet Desiree Armfeldt and newly re-married lawyer Fredrik Egerman. Fredrik is married to a ''much'' younger woman, Anne, who is the subject of his son Henrik's adoration; Desiree is having an affair with a married dragoon, Carl-Magnus, whose wife Charlotte knows Anne through her younger sister. Eventually they all end up at Desiree's mother's house in the country. [[HilarityEnsues Hilarity]] ([[CrowningMusicOfAwesome among other things]]) [[HilarityEnsues Ensues]].

Not to be confused with [[FanFic/ALittleNightMusic the Pokémon fanfic]] or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eine_kleine_Nachtmusik the Mozart composition]].

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!!This musical provides examples of:

* AllLoveIsUnrequited - Pretty much straight through, [[spoiler: until the end]].
* BettyAndVeronica - Desiree as Archie, Fredrik as Betty, Carl-Magnus as Veronica. Alternatively, Fredrik as Archie, Desiree as Veronica, Anne as Betty. The Henrik/Anne/Petra triangle kinda fits this as well.
* BillingDisplacement - On a fairly regular basis, including both Broadway productions, the actress playing Madame Armfeldt gets top billing alongside the leads (Desiree and Fredrik), despite not having nearly as large a part. In particular, the recent revival gave Angela Lansbury higher billing than Alexander Hanson, who played Fredrik, because... well, because she's Creator/AngelaLansbury.
* CoolOldLady - Madame Leanora Armfeldt, in spades.
* CutSong
** "Bang!", an alternate introductory song for Carl-Magnus, replaced with "In Praise of Women" because director Hal Prince needed a scene change during the song
** "My Husband the Pig", a brief alternate lead-in to "Every Day A Little Death"
** A third Night Waltz
** "Two Fairy Tales", a DistantDuet for Henrik and Anne
** "Silly People," sung by Frid, cut because nobody knew nor cared who Frid was
* DeadpanSnarker - Charlotte, Mme. Armfeldt, Desiree (especially in "You Must Meet My Wife")
* DemotedToExtra - Frid played an important part in ''Smiles of a Summer Night'', but his role in the musical was essentially reduced to one scene (even his song was cut).
* {{Elopement}}: Anne and Henrik elope near the end of the play. Since Anne is already married to Henrik's father this is really the only option.
* EndlessDaytime: Act II has a thematically appropriate but otherwise IrrelevantActOpener by the chorus called "The Sun Won't Set", in which it stays twilight till around 11pm (because Act II takes place near the Arctic Circle during summer).
* EpicRocking - "A Weekend In The Country," only upbeat and ''hilarious'' -- a Gilbert-and-Sullivan-style first-act Finale.
* FinalLoveDuet - The finale/reprise of "Send in the Clowns".
* GoodBadGirl - Petra, Fredrik and Anne's maid.
* GrandeDame - Mme. Armfeldt is the nicer version.
* GreekChorus - The Liebeslieders.
* HilariouslyMissingThePoint: Carl Magnus continuously fails to grasp ''any'' of his wife's hints. When Charlotte informs hm that Fredrik is heading to the Armfeldt home in the country, Carl Magnus decides the best course of action...is to head there utterly uninvited like it's a party. Charlotte is utterly floored.
* HypocriticalHumor: Carl-Magnus sings an entire song about men naturally expect fidelity... as he's actively cheating on Charlotte.
* TheIngenue - Anne, right down to the soprano.
* KnifeThrowingAct
* LifeImitatesArt - Victoria Mallory and Len Cariou, the actors for Anne and Frederik, were dating when the original production opened. When it closed, Victoria Mallory ran away with Mark Lambert, Henrik's actor. Their daughter, Ramona Mallory, played Anne in the 2009 Broadway revival. [[note]]It is perhaps worth noting that though their characters were 18 and 40something, respectively, Mallory and Cariou were themselves 24 and 34 during the run, not nearly so unusual an age gap.[[/note]]
* TheLoinsSleepTonight - Poor, poor Henrik.
* LoveDodecahedron - Except it's not a complicated jumble so much as an extensive line: Charlotte <-> Carl-Magnus <-> Desiree <-> Fredrik <-> Anne <-> Henrik <-> Petra <-> Frid
** This line is also a series of interlocking [[LoveTriangle Love Triangles]], with Carl-Magnus, Desiree, Fredrik, Anne, Henrik and Petra each forming the apex of a [[TriangRelations Type 7 love triangle]], in which those either side of them on the line are the other corners. Charlotte also attempts to make Fredrik the third corner of a love triangle with Carl-Magnus and herself at one point, unsuccessfully.
* LoveHurts
* MayDecemberRomance - However, [[spoiler: Anne and Fredrik don't end up together, and this is portrayed as a good thing]].
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Carl Magnus's attempts to keep Fredrik away from Desiree are nasty, but when he think Fredrik is having an affair with ''Charlotte'' he turns flat out murderous.
* MythologyGag - In ''Smiles of a Summer Night'', Fredrik falls into some water at Desiree's house, soaking his clothes, and so Desiree gives him Carl-Magnus's robe to wear while he waits for them to dry; Carl-Magnus arrives and is outraged, suspecting shenanigans. In ''A Little Night Music'', the innocent explanation is dispensed with: Fredrik and Desiree actually do have sex. But when Carl-Magnus arrives, they tell him that Fredrik fell in the water, and so Desiree gave him Carl-Magnus's robe to wear while he waits for his clothes to dry...
* NotWhatItLooksLike - Anne and Fredrik walk in on Petra... fixing Henrik's pants. Although no one actually says the magic words, and while it's not sexual itself, it does happen right after Henrik and Petra's attempt at sex (see TheLoinsSleepTonight above).
* ObliviousToLove - Anne.
* PatterSong - "Now".
* RuleOfThree - The whole work is structured around threes and triangles. The music is mostly in waltz time ('''3'''/4) or variations thereof. The cast is, apart from Madame Armfeldt and Fredrika, structured into a series of interlocking love triangles (see LoveDodecahedron above). There are songs sung by three people ("Now/Later/Soon"), and songs sung by two people about a third person ("You Must Meet My Wife" and "It Would Have Been Wonderful" most prominently). The summer night smiles three times.
** In original orchestrator Jonathan Tunick's foreword in the published script of the show, he takes this a step further, saying how the show is about the unstable three progressing into the stable two--by the end all of the love triangles are resolved.
** The original idea for the show was to go through the story three times - once as a tragedy (which would've ended with Fredrik committing suicide), once as a farce, and one final time where everything goes properly.
* ScrewPolitenessImASenior: Mme. Armfeldt does ''not'' hold back on the sarcasm and disdain.
* SexIsEvilAndIAmHorny - Henrik does a very bad job of abstaining from the "devil's snares".
* ShipTease - [[LesYay Anne and Petra's]] "I'm a boy!" scene in her bedroom.
* TheSoprano - Anne. So, ''so'' much.
* TheTease - Anne and Petra enjoy being this towards Fredrik.
* TenorBoy - Henrik, whose music is even more punishing than Anne's.
* WrongGuyFirst

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