July 18, 2008 — There is nothing like an authentic Italian escape to inject a dash of romance into your summer … especially when you can get there and back in a single evening.
Heritage Theatre Festival is closing out its 2008 season with "The Light in the Piazza," winner of six Tony Awards and one of the most acclaimed musicals in recent Broadway history.
The play is set in 1953. Clara Johnson, a young American tourist, and her mother Margaret travel to Florence and Rome, where Clara meets and falls hard for an Italian boy. Margaret is most unhappy with the developments, but why? This is a love story with all the elements of the best of musical theatre, yet with a story that takes it to brand new places. The lush and dreamy score from Adam Guettel, the grandson of Richard Rodgers, has been hailed as Broadway's most romantic since "West Side Story," and perfectly complements a book by renowned playwright Craig Lucas, whose credits include "Reckless" and "Prelude to a Kiss," among others.
"This is a wonderful chance for us to share with our audiences a taste of the best of contemporary American musical theater, while offering them the chance to take a one-night European escape right in their own backyards," said Robert Chapel, the show's director and the producing director of Heritage Theatre Festival.
"'The Light in the Piazza' is a beautiful offbeat love story with all the elements of the classics of musical theatre, plus a unique twist that takes it, and the audience, to fascinating places. The music itself is truly stunning, combining the traditional sounds of Broadway musicals with elements of classical music and even opera that fit seamlessly with both the setting and the story and make for a powerful and rewarding evening of theater."
"The Light in the Piazza" will run July 23-26, 29-31 and Aug. 1-2 at 8 p.m. in the Culbreth Theatre, with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Saturday, Aug. 2. Tickets are $31 for adults, $26 for seniors and U.Va. faculty and staff and $15 for students. They are available in person at the Heritage Box Office on Culbreth Road and by phone at 434-924-3376.
The new Culbreth Road Parking Garage is free for all audience members, and its immediate proximity to the theatres makes Heritage the area's most accessible performing arts venues.