Theatre Review: The Light In The Piazza


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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, June 14, 2007

A lush, orchestrated tapestry of strings, woodwinds, piano and harp. No brass at all -- rare in a Broadway show. That’s the sound world of “The Light in the Piazza.” 

This non-rock sound is a good match for an earnest, traditional story set in 1953, when good manners were an important part of culture, and Europe was recovering from the war.

What emerges is a tale of youthful love in the ancient city of Florence. There’s sexy chemistry between the blond American girl and the dark-haired Italian boy. But it’s the middle-aged parents who guide the story. The American mom and the Italian dad are kind, protective and yes, a bit wiser than their impulsive 20-something kids.

This is a show built on quiet appeal and an impressionistic glow. There are no gunshots or villains, no dancing girls in feathers and furs. But if you’re looking for something gently radiant, even thoughtful – a term rarely applied to musicals -- then “The Light in the Piazza” is a worthy pick.

(music, rising)

"The Light In The Piazza" plays at the Sacramento Community Center Theatre through June 24th.