Strong to Replace Callen in L.A. Piazza; Callen Lands Role in Menopause Tour

News   Strong to Replace Callen in L.A. Piazza; Callen Lands Role in Menopause Tour Victoria Strong will assume the role of Margaret Johnson in The Covina Center for the Performing Arts' current production of The Light in the Piazza beginning Jan. 31.

Strong replaces Christopher Callen, who will play her final performance Jan. 30. Callen has been offered a lead role in the international tour of Menopause the Musical, and the dates conflict with the Piazza run, which will continue through Feb. 15 at the Los Angeles venue.

Strong recently starred as Golde in Fiddler on the Roof for South Bay Civic Light Opera. She is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Mother in the national tour of Ragtime.

Directed by Brady Schwind, the Piazza cast also features Brooke Tansley (Beauty and the Beast, Hairspray) as Clara Johnson and Craig D'Amico (Annie Get Your Gun, Fiddler on the Roof) as Fabrizio Naccarelli with David Fairchild (Signor Naccarelli), Lois Bourgon (Signora Naccarelli), Eric Snodgrass (Giuseppe Naccarelli), Abigail Kinnahan (Franca Naccarelli) and Michael Tatlock (Roy Johnson).

The ensemble comprises Mark Gamez, Matt Ervien, Karin Frasier, Marisa Copeland, Taylor Tracey and Madelyn Jones.

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).

Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 8 PM and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 PM.

For tickets, priced $35, call (626) 331-8133 or visit www.covinacenter.com.

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