Broadway Tours to the sounds of the Great White Way as we get hyped and stoked for Broadway?s biggest night of the year just 39 DAYS AWAY?.. The Tony Awards. Here comes another timeless show on our TOP 40 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN?.
At # 39 on our countdown, we take you back in time to Florence, Italy in the year of 1950. There, we meet a wealthy southern Mother and her disabled Daughter as they spend a Summer Vacation there. However the sightseeing touring adventures gets cut short as a young Italian suitor gets the daughter's attention. With the romance, the mother is forced to reconsider not only her daughter's future, but her own deep seated hopes and regrets. We of course are talking about the beauty that is?. The Light In The Piazza ? Musical. The show features a score by Adam Guettel and a book by Craig Lucas. It?s based on the best selling 1960 novella of the same name by Elizabeth Spencer..
From the 2005 telecast, Tony Award winners Victoria Clark as ?Margaret Johnson? and Kelli O'Hara (a Tony nominee again this year) as ?Clara Johnson?, along with Tony nominee Matthew Morrison as ?Fabrizio Naccarelli? and the cast perform the show's opening number taking us on an adventure to the world of Italy at sunrise filled with STATUES AND STORIES.
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA was first conceived in the late 90's when the late composer and writer Mary Rodgers (and daughter of Richard Rodgers of Rodgers & Hammerstein) suggested to her son Adam Guettel to read the 1960 novella. He immediately fell in love with the emotional ambition of the story (not a simple love story with that classic Happily Ever After ending). From there, he teamed up with Craig Lucas in developing the book and director Tony winning Bartlett Sher (a nominee again this year). It went through several years of readings and workshops before having its official World Premiere at the Intiman Playhouse in Seattle back in 2003. A year later, the show played the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
Following its 2 acclaimed sold out runs in Seattle and Chicago, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA officially arrived on Broadway in 2005. It played the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center Theater for a complete total of 540 performances. The cast consisted of….
Victoria Clark as "Margaret Johnson",
Kelli O'Hara (later Katie Rose Clarke) as "Clara Johnson",
Matthew Morrison (later Aaron Lazar) as "Fabrizio Naccarelli",
Michael Berresse as "Giuseppe Naccarelli",
Sarah Uriarte Berry as "Franca Naccarelli",
Patti Cohenour as "Signora Naccarelli" (and also served as the alternate for "Margaret Johnson" playing the role twice a week),
and Beau Gravitte as "Roy Johnson".
The show was nominated for 11 Tony Awards that year winning 6 including Best Leading Actress in a Musical (for Victoria Clark) and Best Original Score (for Adam Guettel).
Prior to the end of its Broadway run, the original production of THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA was captured on film for the Award winning PBS series, Live from Lincoln Center in 2006. The cast featured Clarke, Lazar, and Sarandon performing with the original principals that stayed the entire run on Broadway.
Following its run on Broadway, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA went on to tour America and around the world. Today its performed in Schools, Community, Regional Theaters, and even Opera houses.
With the show?s recent 15th Anniversary, a semi-staged production set to play both London?s Royal Festival Hall and the LA Opera later this year. Under the direction of Olivier Award winning director and actor Daniel Evans, both engagements will star Ren?e Fleming as ?Margaret Johnson? and Dove Cameron as ?Clara Johnson?. If it becomes a smash, do you think it will hit New York City?!!
How beautiful and romantic is this timeless musical?!