Raleigh, N.C. — Theatre Raleigh just launched their latest musical production smack dab in the middle of a gallery at the North Carolina Museum of Art. The unusual stage combined with beautiful vocals, harmonious music and the kind of sweet, dramatic love story that's hard to resist makes The Light in the Piazza a must-see.
The musical, set on the streets of Florence and Rome in 1953, tells the love story of Clara and Fabrizio. Clara is on vacation in Italy with her mother when she falls head over heels for Fabrizio. As The Light in the Piazza unfolds, cultural differences, a concerned mother and an important secret threaten to rip their romance - which is somewhat of a whirlwind - apart.
That's all I'll say about the plot, because I would hate to give anything away. Instead, let's talk about the "stage," which, for this play, was the art gallery in the museum's west building.
The seating was incredibly intimate - just three sets of chairs made up of only several rows each nestled the audience and actors together. As a result, audience members were able to get an up-close look at the actors' facial expressions and, of course, all the art.
Clara, Fabrizio and the rest of the cast were only feet in front of my chair at several points during the musical, and it was interesting to watch the actors and actresses work around - and even acknowledge - the naked Herkules statue standing right in front of me.
The sunlight coming in from outside illuminated the museum's mostly-white interior beautifully, and only minimal lighting was used once the sun set. The stage felt warm and peaceful, and the actors weren't interrupted by any backdrops, sound effects, microphones or elaborate props. In fact, their performances were incredibly emotional and raw as a result.
You'll hear beautiful accents and lovely songs in this musical. You'll see tears and sadness, and you'll laugh. The Light in the Piazza story is romantic, beautiful, funny and heartbreaking. It's a story moms and daughters, lovers of classical music and romantics will love.
Tickets are going fast
The Light in the Piazza runs July 11-14 at the N.C. Art Museum, and tickets are disappearing quickly. The first round of the musical, which runs from July 6-10, is already sold out.
Tickets are $32.50 adults and $30.50 for seniors, students and military. senior/student/military. Discount tickets are available for members of the NCMA members.
Tickets can be purchased online at theatreraleigh.com.