Craig Lucas is now collaborating with Adam Guettel on the long-aborning new musical The Light in the Piazza. The show, based on Elizabeth Spencer's 1960 novella, "The Light in the Piazza," is about a retarded American woman's romance with an Italian man in Florence.
Lucas said that he and Guettel are working quickly but that there is no set time frame for the project's completion. No producer or theatre is attached to the musical.
Alfred Uhry, who was once connected to Piazza, appears to have left the venture. Back in 1999, Uhry characterized the show as "a romance" with a fairy-tale quality to it.
Guettel himself described the new work as a love story. "The goal is to really make the audience feel like they're in love or desperately want to be in love...I just want people to feel that feeling for those two hours," Guettel told Playbill On-Line in February 1999.
The musical was intended to be workshopped at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and produced at the Goodman Theater in the first few years of the millennium, as part of Guettel's unique composer-in-residence status with both companies. However, Guettel withdrew himself from the Brena and Lee Freeman Sr. Composer-in-Residence program in April 1999, six months after he accepted, "due to time constraints inherent in the property he is developing," according to a statement from Lyric Opera of Chicago. Lyric Opera general director William Mason, Goodman artistic director Robert Falls and Guettel all agreed "that the window of time is simply too limited to make production possible with the two Chicago companies," according to a statement.
Guettel is primarily known for the critically-hailed and widely-produced Floyd Collins. His other works include Saturn Returns. Lucas' many plays include Prelude to a Kiss, Blue Window, The Dying Gaul and Stranger.
—By Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones