The Light in the Piazza at South Coast Rep

Alessio2
Understudy
joined:11/15/13
Just wondering if anyone here has seen or is going to see The Light in the Piazza at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. I have tickets for February 9th and can't wait. I'm not familiar with this theater and just wonder what I have to look forward to! Thanks
FishermanBob
Broadway Legend
joined:7/9/12
I can't speak to this production but I have seen several shows there. Their productions are always very professionally done and it's a very nice facility. Broadway veteran Erin Mackey who I happen to like a lot headlines this production so I'm thinking it should be pretty good assuming you are already familiar with the play and like the story.
Phan#24601
Stand-by
joined:11/29/11
I'm going on the 13th, and I'm pretty excited about it. I have never been to that theatre before, but I'm sure it will be a nice venue and a great show!
My biggest pet peeve right now is when people pronounce it "Marry-us" and not "Mah-ree-us".
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
I really wish I could see Patti Cohenour as Margaret!
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
f13overture
Stand-by
joined:3/9/10
Thanks for posting this thread. I haven't been to the venue before, but I definitely want to see this production!
broadway_show_fan
Broadway Star
joined:12/12/05
best12bars, I totally agree with you! Patti was my first Margaret in the Broadway production, and she was my favorite. She is just an amazing performer and her voice is gorgeous. I wish I could be there!
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
And David Burnham understudied/performed the role of Fabrizio on Broadway and originated the tour, and is very good in the role (although no longer the ideal age).

If I was in California right now, I'd definitely want to take the chance to see two original cast members and a talented singer/actress like Erin Mackey.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
broadway_show_fan
Broadway Star
joined:12/12/05
Oh I forgot about David Burnham being Fabrizio! I got to see him on one time (somehow I saw something like 3 or 4 different Fabrizios) and he was just a breath of fresh air with a 1000 watt smile! Loved him. Ugh, I'm so jealous.
Wicked Fanatic
Leading Actor
joined:3/31/09
I saw a preview on Sunday night and really liked it! I saw the touring version in 2007 which introduced me to the talents of Christine Andreas, Katie Rose Clarke and David Burnham. This one introduced me to the supremely talented Patti Cohenour who was wonderful as Margaret Johnson. Dare I say I liked her better than Christine Andreas who I loved when I saw it the 1st time! Erin Mackey who has finally fulfilled her dream role was very good as Clara and her rendition of "The Light in the Piazza" got the biggest applause of the night! David Burnham was good but I have to admit his Italian broken English accent made it hard for me to understand some of his lines. Can't believe I'll say this but George Hamilton in the film version (watched it last night) did it much better and I could understand what he was trying to say.

For those that have never seen a play at SCR there is no curtain only an open stage with moving sets. This one has a piazza at the rear of the stage and you can see thru the piazza blinds the chamber ensemble of five: piano, violin, cello, harp and bass. I wondered if I would miss an orchestra, but I didn't. The chamber ensemble music which complemented the divine singers was perfection! The rolling sets of sculptures, arched columns, etc. move on and off for each of the scenes.

The cast contins 13 members: 4 in the ensemble playing the minor roles plus the 9 characters. Standouts as I mentioned above were Patti Cohenour, Erin Mackey and David Burnham. Also enjoyed Melina Kalomas as Franca Naccarelli, the scorned wife of Giuseppe Naccarelli and Martin Kildare as Margaret's husband, Roy Johnson.

In both the book and the movie Fabrizio's father as played by Rosanno Brazzi and his interest in Margaret was emphasized strongly. In the touring compnaty that I saw previously it was also very evident but in this production it isn't and their kiss at the end of the play seemed to me to come out of nowhere.

Musical highlights were David's always incredible "Il Mondo Era Vuoto"; "The Joy You Feel" by Franca (Melina Kalomas); "Say It Somehow" to end the 1st act with Clara and Fabrizio; "The Light in the Piazza"; "Tirade" by Clara (Wow!); "Let's Walk" with Margaret and Signor Naccarelli (Perry Ojeda); "Love to Me" with Fabrizio and the finale "Fable"-- molto buono!

Previews continue for the next three nights and then the official opening is on Friday, the 31st. Anyone living in SoCal should see this. It's definitely going to be one of the best regional musical productions of 2014!

ETA that it was not Victoria Clarke that I saw in the touring company, but Christine Andreas who was wonderful! The confusion was that I saw them both in cabaret in Costa Mesa and they both spotlighted their time in "The Light in the Piazza".
Updated On: 1/28/14 at 01:58 PM
KJisgroovy
Broadway Star
joined:1/30/04
I had no idea Victoria Clark and Katie Rose Clark did the tour. Christine Andreas and Elena Shadow were lovely when we saw it on the Chicago stop of the tour. Did they play the tour out West?
Jesus saves. I spend.
DottieD'Luscia
Broadway Legend
joined:7/23/03
Katie replaced Elena on the tour, but I'm not sure if Victoria ever did any of the stops on tour. I saw the touring production in three different cities (including Seattle), and Christine Andreas was Margaret each of those times.
Hey Dottie! Did your colleagues enjoy the cake even though your cat decided to sit on it? ~GuyfromGermany
Wicked Fanatic
Leading Actor
joined:3/31/09
Thanks KJisgroovy and DottieD'Luscia for pointing out my mistake with Victoria Clarke not being in the touring company when I saw it in Costa Mesa. The confusion came because I saw both Victoria and Christine Andreas in cabaret and they spotlighted their time in "The Light in the Piazza", but it was Christine Andreas who I saw as Margaret Johnson in the OC. Corrected my original post.
Alessio2
Understudy
joined:11/15/13
Thanks WickedFanatic for taking the time to write all that! I am now officially very excited about seeing this show!
Wicked Fanatic
Leading Actor
joined:3/31/09
Here's a look at the costumes that were designed for this production.

http://southcoastrep.blogspot.com/2014/01/costume-design-from-renderings-to.html?utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=01.28.14:PiazzaCostumes/JamesCast/5MileLake&utm_content=version_A#.UubhlPbTlGE

Guess when I see it again on February 4th I'll have to take at look at this...

"As the musical progresses, Margaret and Clara’s costumes parallel their growth, inspired by the European culture that surrounds them. Piehl also decided to focus on the relationship between Margaret and Clara by placing the two in subtly matching palettes—Clara in softer tones and Margaret in saturated tones."

That being said the costumes were stunning!
Wicked Fanatic
Leading Actor
joined:3/31/09
Scenes from SCR's production here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNl78STkW3o&feature=youtu.be&utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=02.04.14:PiazzaReviews/James/JudeNOOFFER&utm_content=version_A

Saw it again tonight and it was 100% better than when I saw it during previews. Everything had been tightened with sound issues gone and everyone in the cast in even better voice than the 1st time that I saw it. David Burnham who had been battling bronchitis during previews was superb and this time "Il Era Vuolto" was perfection!

This Saturday on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 10:30 a.m., SCR’s Inside the Season program will focus on The Light in the Piazza. Join us for an engaging and in-depth look at this musical with actor David Burnham, who portrays Fabrizio, and costume designer Leah Piehl, who created the stunning 1950s-inspired costumes. The morning also will include a tour of the set. Audience questions and comments are encouraged. Tickets are $12 in advance or at the door. I'm going and looking forward to learning more about this particular production.

ETA these reviews:

http://www.stagescenela.com/2014/02/the-light-in-the-piazza-4/

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/04/light-in-the-piazza-south-coast-rep-review-hebert/


Updated On: 2/5/14 at 02:09 AM
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
What's up with those clips? Did they specifically not want to show Patti Cohenour singing? She's the lead in the show, in case they didn't know.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
Lol, you're right bestie. She didn't sing one note in that entire montage.

Also, I just have to mention what an absolutely beautiful show this is. The score is utterly swoon-worthy.

Say It Somehow sweeps me away every time I hear it.
....but the world goes 'round
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
This definitely looks like a fist-class production, and as the reviews mention, it ranks right up there with the Broadway/touring productions.

I really wish I was there to see it!
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
grumpyoptimist
Featured Actor
joined:2/26/11
Here is the U-T San Diego's review. I respect this reviewer immensely (even though he and I do have some passionate but usually mildly amusing disagreements from time to time), if anything this review is written reining in some of his enthusiasm when he came out of the show Sunday...and even then, it's glowing.

Oops, sorry WickedFanatic, missed that you already posted the link. Oh well, to add slightly to the above, he said going in that this show is "my Super Bowl," so he went in with some pretty decent expectations and they still did justice to it. I'm gonna try to get up and see it...
'Light' is beautifully luminous in OC
Updated On: 2/5/14 at 08:52 AM
StageDoor3
Swing
joined:3/13/13
I saw the show at Lincoln Center, on tour at the Ahmanson and at Southcoast Rep on Sunday night, Feb 2. Even though the orchestra is scaled down I thought this was an excellent production with very good lead performers with strong Broadway credits and/or previous ties to the production and good supporting cast. Erin Mackey is announced as Johanna in the NY Philharmonic "Sweeney Todd" concert with Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel. So we're lucky to have this cast. The set was in the style of the original, and the period costumes were striking. Charles McNulty faulted the production in his LA Times review for not having the sweep of a full orchestra, but that didn't bother me. The music and songs are still so unique and lovely and the production still very moving.











Updated On: 2/5/14 at 11:19 AM
bluesoprano
Stand-by
joined:5/8/05
I was able to see the show this past weekend (this is my 9th time seeing LITP) and I have to say this production is just as amazing as the national tour and Broadway production. When I heard Patti Cohenour would be playing Margaret I knew I had to see it...and she did not disappoint! Amazing in both voice and acting! I wish they would have featured her singing "Dividing Day" in the promo because it is great! David Burnham is such an amazing Fabrizio! I know he was fighting bronchitis, but you could not tell at all! His portrayal of Fabrizio is just as amazing as it was on tour. Erin Mackey was a fine Clara. For the show being in a smaller intimate theater it worked great. The sets were good and even without having a fuller orchestra it worked great and was still a moving piece. I'll be seeing it again before it closes. The entire cast is just amazing. If you are in the LA/OC area go see this production, you will not be disappointed.
Wicked Fanatic
Leading Actor
joined:3/31/09
This morning I attended SCR's Inside series spotlighting Light in the Piazza. The moderator interviewed two people associated with the production: Leah Piehl who designed the costumes and David Burnham.

The 1st hour was chatting with the costumes designer who talked about many of the things that were highlighted in the article that I posted earlier.

http://southcoastrep.blogspot.com/2014/01/costume-design-from-renderings-to.html?utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=01.28.14:PiazzaCostumes/JamesCast/5MileLake&utm_content=version_A#.UubhlPbTlGE

Many things discussed in the article were then further developed by Leah and were displayed to us on a rack which contained the costumes that Margaret and Clara wore which parallelled their growth and were inspired by the European culture that surrounded them. As she stated in her article Piehl decided to focus on the relationship between Margaret and Clara by placing the two in subtly matching palettes—Clara in softer tones and Margaret in saturated tones. We could also see them closer during the break when we were allowed to peruse the environs of the stage on and off.

Two sets of costumes were not done in the style of 1953 when the play takes place which was a director's choice who wanted a bit of Fellini in the play those for Frabrizio and for Franca. The costumes for Franca were worn elegantly by the actress Melina Kalomas and close up were to die for.

After the break David Burnham took center stage and he had the audience hooked on his every word. I had heard many of the stories told by him at concerts before, but today many were detailed even more including his starry beginning as Donnie Osmond's replacement in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in Canada to a complete fall from grace when treading the boards in NYC for the 1st time and a return to the farm in Fontana, CA where he grew up.

Then came a story I had not heard about his time in "Light on the Piazza" on Broadway as Matthew Morrison's understudy which then led to a discussion of understudies at SCR. There are none and you go on when you're sick or the show will have to be canceled. That was when David said he had a bad bout with bronchitis during previews and his worst performance which made him very sad was on Sunday evening, January 26th when I saw it as had the moderator. He had a temperature of over 101 when performing that night. Now that's a trouper. Then there's Matthew Morrison who I discovered is NOT a trouper. When LITP opened he missed the 2nd night and Burnham went on without knowing any blocking to be led around the stage by Kelli O'Hara and Victoria Clark. Morrison went on to miss 60 performances which allowed Burnham to list LITP on his resume. He got a big laugh when he said that he was offered the role on the Tour and he made sure his understudy never got to perform once during the run. Wonder if Burnham and Morrison will reconnect next weekend as Matthew is performing with the Pacific Symphony in the big concert hall next Thursday thru Saturday evening?

Really was a great inside look at the show with two of the show's team. So glad I went and will definitely be seeing it one more time before it ends so I can look for all the little things that I discovered from the discussion.


Updated On: 2/8/14 at 06:23 PM
charliebrown5
Understudy
joined:8/1/13
I saw this show this past weekend. I had never seen a production of the show before so I went in a complete newbie.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Standouts for me were Patti Cohenour and David Burnham. Cohenour's acting in particular was wonderful. She was the heart of the show. Burnham was also so charming. I couldn't stop smiling every time he was on stage. The actress playing Franca, Melina Kalomas, was also really fantastic.

I didn't quite connect with Erin Mackey's Clara, but I'm not sure if I was supposed to? I also didn't feel any great connection between her and Burnham's Fabrizio. At intermission, I read the LA Times review and it said Mackey was playing the character in a different way from the Broadway production. For those who saw both productions, did you notice any meaningful differences?

The least impressive part of the show for me was the music I had heard so much about. Burnham had some wonderful musical moments through sheer charm, but not much else stood out (or received much of an audience reaction). I definitely look forward to seeing the show again with a full orchestra.

Lastly, the costumes were beautiful and the overall production quality very high. i would absolutely check a show out at SCR again.

LA Times Review
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Did they change the naked man statue to a half naked woman? Blasphemy. It's the land of naked marble boys!
That's right! Underscore mother-fu@#ers!
BewareTheUndertoad
Chorus Member
joined:4/26/13
I'm seeing it tomorrow night and CANNOT WAIT! This will be my first time seeing it live (or all the way through . . . I missed parts of the TV broadcast).

I'll report back, of course.
Wicked Fanatic
Leading Actor
joined:3/31/09
Did they change the naked man statue to a half naked woman? Blasphemy. It's the land of naked marble boys!

No they didn't. Clara still fondles the genitals getting laughter from the audience in the appropriate scene.

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