Schaufner, Sheen, Rawle Star in U.K. Light in the Piazza

News   Schaufner, Sheen, Rawle Star in U.K. Light in the Piazza Casting has been announced for the U.K. premiere of Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas' Tony Award-winning musical, The Light in the Piazza, to play the regional Curve Theatre in Leicester April 30-May 23.

Lucy Schaufer will play American mother Margaret Johnson (the role for which Victoria Clark won the 2006 Tony Award), with Caroline Sheen as her fragile daughter Clara Johnson.

Matt Rawle will play Fabrizio Naccarelli, the man that Clara falls in love with while on holiday in Florence. Also in the cast will be Garth Bardsley, Graham Bickley (Signor Naccarelli), George Couyas (Guiseppe Naccarelli), Jasna Ivir (Signora Naccarelli), Eliza Lumley (Franca Naccarelli), Aoife Nally, Bernd Windhofer, Charles Daish (Roy Johnson), Jon-Paul Heavey and Jez Unwin.

Opening is May 5. Schaufer is an international opera singer, who has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington Natioanl Opera, Opera du Rhin Strasbourg, Hamburg State Opera, Opera der Stadt Köln and New Israeli Opera. In Britain, she has appeared with English National Opera, Opera North, Garsington Opera Festival and Music Theatre Wales/ROH2. Roles include playing the title role in ENO's production of Birtwistle's Punch and Judy (seen at the Young Vic in 2008) and Clare de Loone in On the Town (for ENO at the London Coliseum) and Johanna in Sweeney Todd (for Opera North). Also in the world of musical theatre, she has appeared in New York in the City Center's Encores! series in performances of Lady in the Dark and One Touch of Venus, as well as playing Miss Hyde in Very Warm for May at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Room.

Rawle most recently played the title role in Zorro (Garrick Theatre), and before that was Che in Michael Grandage's 2006 production of Evita (Adelphi Theatre). He has also starred in the original production of Boublil and Schonberg's Martin Guerre and Assassins (Shefifeld Crucible).

Sheen was most recently seen in the title role of Mary Poppins on a U.K. tour; other West End credits include Into the Woods (Donmar Warehouse), The Witches of Eastwick (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane) and Les Miserables (Queens Theatre). She also appeared in the U.K premiere of Guettel's Myths and Hymns at the fringe Finborough Theatre. The musical is billed as "a romantic tale with a dark heart" that "tells an epic story about love and what it can mean as it follows Clara, a young woman who is visiting Europe with her mother, and what happens when she meets and falls for the handsome and mysterious Fabrizio."

The Light in the Piazza originally premiered by Seattle's Intiman Theatre Company and subsequently seen at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, before opening at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre in March 2005, where it ran to July 2006.

Guettel, who won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Score for The Light in the Piazza, has also written Floyd Collins (seen at the fringe Bridewell Theatre) and Myths and Hymns. Craig Lucas, who wrote the book, has also written such plays as Reckless, Prelude to a Kiss and The Dying Gaul, as well as the film Longtime Companion. Prelude to a Kiss and Reckless were both subsequently made into feature films.

The production is directed by Paul Kerryson, the Curve's artistic director who makes his directorial debut on the large stage following his production of Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman earlier in the year. His credits include On Your Toes, Singin' in the Rain, A Little Night Music and Pacific Overtures at the Curve's predecessor, the Leicester Haymarket, as well as the West End productions of Kander and Ebb's The Rink and Jerry Herman's Mack and Mabel. The production is designed by George Souglides, with musical direction by Julian Kelly, lighting design by Giuseppe di Lorio, sound design by Paul Groothuis and costume supervision by Heidi Bryan.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0116 242 3595, or visit www.curveonline.co.uk

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