Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones has won over theatre critics with her Broadway debut in A Little Night Music, but it was her co-star Angela Lansbury who stole the show as the ‘real jewel’ of the musical.
The Welsh beauty stars alongside veteran actress Lansbury in the Stephen Sondheim play, which opened in New York’s Walter Kerr Theatre on Sunday.
Zeta-Jones has been applauded by trade paper Variety as “bewitching, confident and utterly natural” in her portrayal of middle-aged actress and seductress Desiree Armfeldt, with writer David Rooney adding, “She breathes a refreshing earthiness and warm-blooded sensuality into the part.” The Hollywood Reporter notes her “beautiful” vocals and “terrific stage presence”, while Newsday calls the Chicago! star “earthy and poignant”.
But reviewers saved their highest praise for Lansbury, whose performance as Zeta-Jones’ mother, Madame Armfeldt, has been branded “the production’s real jewel” by Variety’s Rooney, while USA Today called her portrayal “incandescent”. About the play, the Hollywood Reporter says, “Whatever its flaws, it’s nonetheless a welcome return of a show.” A Little Night Music was last seen on Broadway in 1974.