Maine State's Piazza, with Wintersteller, Blood and Jacoby, Begins June 3

News   Maine State's Piazza, with Wintersteller, Blood and Jacoby, Begins June 3 The Maine State Music Theatre's summer season kicks off June 3 with the award-winning Adam Guettel-Craig Lucas musical The Light in the Piazza.
Mark Jacoby
Mark Jacoby Photo by Joan Marcus

Directed and choreographed by Charles Abbott, the production will officially open June 4 and run through 20.

The cast features Lynne Wintersteller as Margaret Johnson, Jennifer Blood as Clara Johnson, Ben Jacoby as Fabrizio, Mark Jacoby as Signor Nacarrelli, Jared Zirilli as Guiseppe, Betsy DiLellio as Franca, Debra Cardona as Signora Nacarrelli and assistant director John-Charles Kelly as Roy Johnson. The ensemble comprises Karen Hyland, Don Rey, Natalie Wisdom, Dennis St. Pierre and Birdie Katz.

The creative team also includes musical director Edward Reichert, set designer Dennis Hassan, lighting designer Jeffrey Koger and costume designer Kurt Alger.

The Light in the Piazza, according to press notes, "takes place in Italy in the summer of 1953. Margaret Johnson, the wife of an American businessman, is touring the Tuscan countryside with her daughter, Clara. While sightseeing, Clara — a beautiful, surprisingly childish young woman — loses her hat in a sudden gust. As if guided by an unseen hand, the hat lands at the feet of Fabrizio Naccarelli, a handsome Florentine, who returns it to Clara. This brief episode, charged with coincidence and fate, sparks an immediate and intense romance between Clara and Fabrizio. Margaret, extremely protective of her daughter, attempts to keep Clara and Fabrizio apart. As the story unfolds, a secret is revealed; in addition to the cultural differences between the young lovers, Clara is not all that she appears to be. Unable to suppress the truth about her daughter, Margaret is forced to reconsider not only Clara's future, but her own."

The lush, romantic, soulful musical has a book by Craig Lucas, based on the novella by Elizabeth Spencer, and music and lyrics by Adam Guettel (he won the 2005 Tony for Best Score and shared the Best Orchestrations Tony). Tickets, priced $29-$52, are available by calling (207) 725-8769 or by visiting www.msmt.org. Maine State Music Theatre is located at 22 Elm Street in Brunswick, ME.

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The Maine State Music Theatre season will continue with the Gershwin-scored Crazy for You, playing June 24-July 11. Directed by Stephen Bourneuf and choreographed by Mary Jane Houdina, the cast will be headed by Broadway actors Jessica Lee Goldyn (A Chorus Line) and Tony Yazbeck (A Chorus Line, Gypsy).

Donna Drake will direct and choreograph the David Yazbek- Jeffrey Lane musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which will run July 15-Aug. 1. The cast will feature Mark Jacoby as Lawrence Jameson, Chuck Ragsdale as Freddy, Erin Maguire as Christine Colgate, Karen K. Edissi as Muriel Eubanks, David Hess and Paula Leggett Chase.

The Maine State Music Theatre season will conclude with The Drowsy Chaperone, which will feature MSMT artistic director Charles Abbott as Man in Chair. The company of the production, which runs Aug. 5-22, will also include John-Charles Kelly as Underling, Karen K. Edissi as Mrs. Tottendale, Tyler Hanes, David Hess, Marc Kessler, Curt Dale Clark, Lara Seibert and Paula Leggett Chase. Marc Robin will direct.

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