Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Piazza Delivery

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Piazza Delivery

Article excerpt

The Light in the Piazza

* Performed by Victoria Clark, Kelli O'Hara, and Matthew Morrison

* Nonesuch

If Monty Python's Spamalot is this Broadway season's blockbuster--like The Producers, an entertaining yet overhyped megahit musical comedy--The Light in the Piazza is a genuine sleeper, an underrated masterpiece waiting to be discovered by those who love romantic art songs. Perhaps the original cast album, just released on Nonesuch Records, will help accomplish that.

With music and lyrics by Adam Guettel (grandson of Richard Rodgers) and book by the excellent gay playwright Craig Lucas (based on a 1959 novella by Elizabeth Spencer), Piazza has an operatic grandeur and musical sweep that might remind you of shows like Sweeney Todd, Passion, or A Little Night Music. But Guettel has his own vocabulary that combines ravishing melodiousness with conversational quirkiness. Nor does the show announce its greatness in any way. It sticks to the modest story it's telling and lets richness emerge by going deeply into it.

It is a love story that seems simple as pie: On vacation in Italy with her mother, a young American girl falls in love with an Italian boy. …

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