Thursday, April 13, 2006

PBS and The Light in the Piazza

Usually I don't get excited about a broadcast of a show on TV. Live theater is best when you're there, and TV deliveries often fall flat - don't believe me? Watch Jekyll and Hyde with David Hasselhoff (2001). I had the advantage of seeing the show on stage which was unbelievable. The movie was a letdown.

However, I am really interested in this version of 'The Light in the Piazza' which will be airing July 2 on PBS as part of the Live From Lincoln Center series. I love the Music from the show, and the story is lovely. I'm a sucker for a romance.

From Wikipedia:

The Light in the Piazza is a musical drama by Adam Guettel (music and lyrics) and Craig Lucas (book). It was developed at the Intiman Playhouse in Seattle and the Goodman Theatre in Chicago with a slightly different cast, and opened on Broadway on April 18, 2005, after a month of previews. The Broadway production is produced by Lincoln Center Theater in their Vivian Beaumont Theater.

The show is based on Elizabeth Spencer's 1960 novella of the same name. It is a love story of a young American woman, Clara Johnson (Kelli O'Hara), who, while on holiday, falls for a young Italian man. When Clara's mother Margaret (Victoria Clark) learns of the affair, she opposes it for unknown reasons. The musical is set in Florence and Rome in the summer of 1953.
The music of the show, while owing much to the traditional Broadway sound, often veers into the territory of Neoromantic classical music and opera, with unexpected harmonic shifts and extended melodic structures, and lushly scored for piano, harp, guitar, and strings, alongside a handful of wind and percussionists. The lyrics are unique in that many of them are in Italian and broken English, as many of the characters are only fluent in Italian.

Though it opened to mixed reviews, The Light in the Piazza has since become a favorite of New York's awards organizations. Along with the Tonys showing, it led the Outer Critics Circle Awards nominations with 11 nods, while the Drama Desk organization also nominated it in 11 categories.

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