Musical Moments--The Light in the Piazza
Musical Theater has always figured prominently in my life. After all, I started performing in it as a little kid, studied it in college, earned my BFA, then pursued it as my livelihood yet I rarely mention it on my blog. So I'm starting now. I'll be writing a regular feature on here called "Musical Moments." (I haven't decided yet how regular it will be, so stay tuned.) But in it I plan to post numbers from Broadway musicals past and present and provide some commentary that hopefully you'll find interesting or informative.
My first featured selection is from one of my favorite Broadway musicals in recent years: "The Light in the Piazza." The show is about an American mother and daughter, two women with a complex, loving yet sometimes stressful and co-dependent relationship, on vacation in Italy. It plays up the societal and cultural differences as well as the role of women in both countries beautifully. The score borrows from traditional Broadway music, Italian opera (some songs sung completely in Italian) and is handled with the subtle nuance of some of the masters of modern musical theatre, such as Stephen Sondheim for example, who manage to capture the many layers of the sometimes complicated issues addressed in the genre today.
Both women in the play are swept up in the romance of Italy where the daughter finds her first love and the mother makes the difficult and painful yet not entirely unselfish decision to allow her only daughter to stay behind and marry the young man. In this opening scene we find mother and daughter (played by Victoria Clark and Kelly O'Hara) in a Florentine piazza, guidebook in hand as the magic of Italy comes to life before them and they begin their adventure.
(This clip taken from the 2005 Tony Awards.)
Labels: Musical Moments