Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Light in the Piazza - The Paramount Theatre (presented by the Intiman Theatre)

The Light in the Piazza
Intiman Theatre presented at The Paramount Theatre
April 17 – 29, 2007
Tickets and Information

After seeing The Light in the Piazza, it is clear how this production has racked up six Tony Awards in addition to earning the Intiman Theatre the award for Best Regional Theater during its original premier here in Seattle. Employing the designs from the original production, the show achieves its fullest potential in all aspects.

Christine Andreas (playing Margaret Johnson) is the Light in the Piazza. With a voice straight from the era of the forties and fifties, Andreas’ performance captivates the audience with a power rarely witnessed in the American musical theater world today. To balance her powerhouse performance with a suave and cool presentation, David Bernham (Fabrizio) passionately glides through each note and encompasses the Italian ardor while allowing enough of himself to shine through in order to draw in the hearts of the audience. Along side Bernham and Andreas leaps the character Clara (played by Katie Rose Clark). Undertaking an extremely difficult role (revealed throughout the performance), Clark tackles the character with vehement choices, though at times overzealously.

Christine Andreas as Margaret Johnson Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The subtle and simultaneously poignant lighting by Christopher Akerlind presents the audience with a spectacle of Tony Award-winning brilliance. Utilizing a combination of spots and filled lighting, Akerlind very efficiently creates the world in which the characters reside. Michael Yeargan’s also Tony Award-winning scenic design creates a world in which the grandiose and simple meet in a titillating waltz. As the emotions swirl on stage into climaxes, the very walls gyrate into confusion and reform into the felt room created by the characters’ own passions.

This grandiose yet undemanding concept carried though by director Bartlett Sher allows the audience to completely indulge effortlessly into the experience. Sher’s direction of The Light in the Piazza brings forth all of the simple beauty of a classic love story and the ostentatious magic of a spectacular piece of musical theatre. Augmented magnificently by James Lowe’s conduction of an unbelievably talented orchestra, The Light in the Piazza is a delightfully becoming production not to be missed.

Review by Nigel Andrews and Phoebe Hopkins

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