photo by Jean Digitale Crooks

The New York Times said last summer “there can be no greater current pleasure” for theater lovers than to watch Bernadette Peters singing “Send In The Clowns” in the latest Broadway revival of “A Little Night Music.” To watch it, suggested The Times’ Charles Isherwood, is to have “the sense of being present at an indelible moment in the history of musical theater.”

It certainly would be a very different musical without that song. It gives a little gravitas to a fluffy, ribald comedy. Its words express a human’s realization of what she might have had but now has lost. To hear Ms. Peters sing it is to be pricked by understated beauty and palpable sorrow. I think our family will long remember her haunting performance of “Send In The Clowns.”

For Santa Rosans, the musical includes the extra kick of seeing the name of its associate conductor, Montgomery High grad Paul Staroba. Those who remember his amazing piano work for the Montgomery choir won’t be surprised that he has gone on to his current role, which includes serving as the show’s rehearsal pianist. Months ago on Facebook he wrote happily that he had gone to Ms. Peters’ New York residence to help her work on the music.

Sunday’s performance proved a double delight.

Robert Digitale