New York City Center Encores! closes out its 2022-2023 season with the final performance of Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas' The Light in the Piazza June 25. Chay Yew is at the helm, with Rob Berman as guest music director leading the Encores! Orchestra.
Tony winner Ruthie Ann Miles leads the cast as Margaret Johnson opposite newcomer Anna Zavelson, a finalist and scholarship winner at the 2022 Jimmy Awards, as Clara Johnson. Also in the cast are Shereen Ahmed as Franca Naccarelli, Andréa Burns as Signora Naccarelli, Rodd Cyrus as Giuseppe Naccarelli, James D. Gish as Fabrizio Naccarelli, Michael Hayden as Roy Johnson, and Ivan Hernandez as Signor Naccarelli.
The ensemble comprises Nick Alvino, Daniel Assetta, Jhailyn Farcon, Alex Humphreys, Mary Illes, Jolina Javier, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Matt Leisy, Katerina McCrimmon, Eliseo Roman, Vishal Vaidya, Kathy Voytko, and J.D. Webster. Casting is by The Telsey Office's Kristian Charbonier and Patrick Goodwin.
Based on the novella by Elizabeth Spencer and featuring a book by Lucas and a Tony-winning score by Guettel, The Light in the Piazza follows an American mother vacationing in Florence, Italy, with her daughter, who falls in love with a local man and forces her mother to embrace her own undreamt-of opportunities in the shadow of a tragic accident. Victoria Clark and Kelli O'Hara led the Broadway premiere of the work in 2005, with Clark winning a Tony for her performance. Yew's production reimagines Margaret and Clara as part of an Asian-American immigrant family, an effort to explore the way otherness can be amplified when visiting yet another country.
Guettel and Lucas re-teamed to write Days of Wine and Roses, a new musical currently in a world premiere run at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater Company with Kelli O'Hara starring opposite Brian d'Arcy James.
The Encores! production features choreography by Parker Esse, scenic design by Clint Ramos and Miguel Urbino, lighting design by David Weiner, costume design by Linda Cho, sound design by Megumi Katayama, and hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe. Kimberlee Wertz is music coordinator, and Cynthia Cahill is production stage manager.
The Encores! season launched with Dear World, starring Donna Murphy and directed and choreographed by Josh Rhodes earlier this year, and most recently presented Lionel Bart's Oliver!, with Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet at the helm. The company's 2023-2024 season is set to include productions of Once Upon a Mattress, starring Sutton Foster; Jelly's Last Jam; and Titanic.
This production of The Light in the Piazza is licensed by Concord Theatricals.