I've been meaning to do a post on this for a while now...
Now, while this poster is a bit atrocious, I have to say I truly loved this show. Great musicals typically get me in the gut. The Light in the Piazza did something a little different: it hit me dead on in the heart. I saw the touring version that opened here in LA at the Ahmanson and this cast rocked my world. I think I benefited by not really knowing much about the plot, or the hearing any real reviews of merit. I walked in and simply soaked up my comp ticket in ignorant bliss.
My favorite thing about this experience was the sweeping music. Guettel's score is one full bodied song after another. I was very surprised to find that some of these songs could be the hardest pieces to sing I've heard hit the stage since Sondheim's heyday. Mind you the lyrics of said songs do lack a punch, but some of the best moments simply are resigned to ahhs and oos... they just took my breath away.
Visually, the designers knew exactly what was needed. The sets were great in their simplicity as it allowed for so many scenes to seamlessly change from one locale to another. With the choreographed changes the show never stopped. My old cohort Mikiko was the assitant scenic designer, and my friend Eyan is curently the Head of Wardrobe for the touring company. (Mikiko got the honor of being thanked in the Tony award acceptance speech of Michael Yeargan, scenic designer. Yes, so jealous, but so jazzed for her.)
The story is very simple in this show, but the passion behind some of these finely acted characters, will make you fall in love with love. I felt like a 13 year old girl giddy with excitement over the prospect of love, how often does that happen to cynical ol' me?