BWW Reviews: A Light in My Heart for THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA
I have owned the CD of the musical THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA for over 2 years now. (Book by Craig Lucas and music and lyrics by Adam Guettel) The music is very evocative. You can feel the different levels of emotion and moods that the show evokes clearly in the music. What is hard to determine from the music alone, is the story. This is a musical where the music is written as a part of the script itself and you need to see the entire script to know what the show is about. And I am so glad I saw THE LIGHT AT THE PIAZZA at Boise State University (BSU) Theatre Arts Department and the Music Department in the Danny Petterson black box theatre.
Going to a production at BSU is always exciting. You never know the configuration of the show until you walk in the doors. This time, there was a soft warm light and the stage was an elongated diamond. The seating was face-to-face but with slight angling to follow the diamond shape. There was a fun brick pattern on the floor that the actors were able to play with a bit (following the path, almost like labyrinths). There were arches at either end of the diamond and under one was a 5 person/6 piece orchestra.
When the show began, the first thing that struck me was the costuming. I hadn't looked at when this musical was supposed to have taken place, but I knew it was sometime in the 1950's because of the costuming (and I kinda want the mother's glasses). The dresses were lovely and very accurate from the full skirted to the fitted body. The men's were also reminiscent of Marlon Brando or James Dean for the young men, Fabrizio to Mad Men for the businessmen.
The production was beautifully staged, there was very little in the way of set pieces and the actors made sure to turn and address each area of the audience so that no one felt left out. The movements of the actors felt natural as they moved around, nothing felt forced like the actor was thinking "I have to make sure this side can see me, I had better turn to them". It was so well choreographed that you never noticed when they turned from you.
The singing was not miked, and that was not a problem. Everyone had a lovely voice from the style of "musical" to "opera" it was all strong and understandable (even the Latin). The voices complimented each other and no one was sticking out - they blended and mixed their voices so the songs flowed over the audience.
There were two actors that I had seen in a musical last year that if I didn't know who they were, I would not have recognized them. They even performed a duet then and now - yet each scene was so different from the other it makes me feel like I can proudly say, "I saw them when they started." because they will go far.
I would definitely recommend seeing THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA. It was a beautiful production.
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA is being performed at Morrison Center, Danny Peterson Theatre 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, Boise, ID 83725 from now until March 16th. Click here for ticketing information.