“The Light in the Piazza,” a musical based on the best-selling 1950s novel, opens this weekend at Macklanburg Playhouse.
The Stephens production stays true to the 1953 setting with beautiful period costume designs reflecting the era and an amazing set, said Associate Professor Lamby Hedge, who is directing and choreographing the show.
“The versatile setting is primarily the romantic city of Florence, Italy, of 1953 with a brief sojourn to Rome,” she said. “We inhabit piazzas, palazzos, small cafes and fashion boutiques, ancient ruins, churches and museums.”
“The Light in the Piazza” is the story of young love and a mother’s struggle to accept it. When an American woman, Margaret, and her daughter, Clara, travel to Italy, Clara has a chance meeting with Fabrizio, who falls in love at first sight. As the play unfolds, a secret is revealed: Clara is not quite who she appears, threatening everyone's future.
“The story examines love in many forms: Innocent love, romantic love, tempestuous and troubled love, safe, comfortable and settled love, a mother’s love and love lost through emotional neglect,” Hedge said.
Second-year B.F.A. acting student Mycah Westhoff will play the role of Margaret, and Clara will be played by third-year B.F.A. theatre student Emy Blake. Alex Herrera, a professional guest artist and Stephens alumnus, will play the role of Fabrizio.
“The Light in the Piazza” offers our students the opportunity to work with one of the most important, exciting, complex and downright ravishing new musical theatre scores composed in the last decade,” Hedge said. “The show premiered at Lincoln Center and was scored by Adam Guettel, who won the 2005 Tony Award for his efforts.”
It was also a good fit for Stephens this year, she said.
“We are currently blessed with a ‘bumper crop’ of fabulous singers/actors in our B.F.A. program and felt the need to offer them the opportunity to work with some of the finest material available in musical theatre. The score runs the gamut from classical to lush and romantic to jazzy, '50s modern.”
In addition to musical talents, audience members can expect humor, romance, heartbreak and ultimately, joy.
“See the play for phenomenal performances, exquisite music, honest and human characters, smart and funny dialogue and lush settings.”
“The Light in the Piazza” starts at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 24, Oct. 25, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Oct. 26. Click here for ticket information.
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