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‘Night Music’ spotlights actresses

Taylor makes good in 'Mother'

IF YOU are a dramatic actress, and you yearn to stretch your un-tapped musical talents slightly, the very best thing to do is find a production of Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music.” This is not only a dazzling showcase for any actress (playing an actress — the maturing, insecure Desiree Armfeldt) but the musical role doesn’t require the creamy tones and high octaves of a Barbra Streisand. Or even the very good voice of a Meryl Streep. The famous “Send In The Clowns” can easily be “sung” in a speaking manner — like Rex Harrison in “My Fair Lady.” Even Elizabeth Taylor tackled “Night Music” in the unfairly maligned 1977 screen version, directed by Hal Prince. So who will be the next Desiree to croon, “Isn’t it rich/aren’t we a pair?” Kristin Scott Thomas! The actress is best known for her Oscar-nominated performance in “The English Patient.” Kristin lives in Paris and will appear in “A Little Night Music” at the Theater du Chatelet in February. This comes as a surprise to almost everyone. Her own agent says, “She’s never done anything like this before. I don’t know if she can sing!” Like I said, she doesn’t have to. She can act, and “Send In The Clowns” is all about acting, not shattering a glass with a high note.

MY TALENTED longtime friend Holland Taylor, the mother-scourge in CBS’ “Two and a Half Men,” is knocking them dead these nights with Buck Henry at their new Off B’way play “Mother,” written by Lisa Ebersole. They are at the Wild Project Theater, 195 East 3rd Street and Andrew Grosso directed these fabulous actors. It’s all about an eccentric family gathering for their annual New Year holiday in an upscale West Virginia resort. Joining the stars are Ms. Ebersole herself, plus Haskell King, Keith Randolph Smith and David Rosenblatt. This runs to Aug. 1, so hurry. Call 212-352-0255.

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