LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA Beautifully Done

by Walter Bender

Jen Fellman as Clara Johnson and Francesco Vuono as Fabrizio Naccarelli share the stage in a scene from THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, The Dramateurs' current production, running in Jeffersonville, PA through September 11.

The latest offering by the Dramateurs at the Barn in Jeffersonville is THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA by Craig Lucas and Adam Guettel. It provides an interesting twist on the classic “boy meets girl” story, placing the action in Florence, Italy and the love interests having to overcome not only the language barrier but family traditions, secrets and misconceptions.

Upon entering the theater, we are struck by the beauty of the set. Scenic Designer Rusty Muglia is to be commended for bringing the look and feel of Italy to this stage. As the show moves from scene to scene, the set changes flow very quickly, keeping the audience totally involved in the show.

Director Eileen Ciccarone has assembled a cast of very talented singers. Jen Fellman as Clara has a beautiful pure voice to match her character, and Francesco Vuono as Fabrizio has a classic Italian tenor sound, reminiscent of a young Andrea Bocelli. Amy Armstrong as Clara’s mother Margaret handles her character well, breaking the 4th wall on occasion to narrate or inform the audience as well as throw in the occasional zinger. Jon Paleologos and Michelle Asadorian as battling spouses Giuseppe and Franca are funny, sympathetic and dramatic as the occasion demands. And Steve Arcidiacono as Signore Naccarelli is the distinguished padrone. He oozes class and distinction. They are ably supported by Erin Kishpaugh, John Henken, Ken Ostrowski, Rosemary Gehrlein, Steven Lepak and Janice Orner.

The show flows beautifully from scene to scene, moment to moment. The Italian “natives” all seemed to be very natural with language and mannerisms. Italian “coach” Maria DeStefano is to be commended for her instruction. The rhythm of the Italian dialog as well as pronunciation was spot on, including the very clever variation on the usual pre-show curtain speech. And, the costuming enhanced the beautiful appearance of this production.

The Barn has a tradition of beautifully produced musicals. THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA is a shining (no pun intended) example of their skill. Congratulations to cast, crew and support staff for bringing the sights, sounds and feel of Italy to Jeffersonville.

Book by Craig Lucas
Music & Lyrics by Adam Guettel
Directed by Eileen Ciccarone
August 27 – September 11, 2010

The Dramateurs, Inc.
At The Barn Playhouse
Christopher Lane & Rittenhouse Blvd
Jeffersonville, PA

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