Who doesn’t want to take a vacation to Florence, Italy? A romantic city full of history, art, architecture and food. That is where we are transported in Theater Latte Da’s current production of “The Light in the Piazza”. A romantic tale following Clara Johnson (Jessica Fredrickson) and her mother, Margaret (Kathleen Humphrey) as they discover all Italy has to offer. As fate would have it Clara meets and falls in love with a local boy, Fabrizio Naccarelli (Aleks Knezevich). Before Margaret has a chance to stop the whirlwind romance, or explain to the Naccarelli family why this relationship is not a good idea, she discovers what she thought was right for her daughter may not be what is truly the best thing for her.
“The Light in the Piazza” marks the first production I have seen, where I have also worked on a previous production (Bloomington Civic Theatre’s 2010 production). I absolutely loved the company I was a part of with Bloomington Civic Theatre’s production. I loved the cast, crew, set design, costumes and music. Because of this I wanted more than anything to walk into this production and not sit in the audience the entire night comparing every aspect of the productions. Thankfully that wasn’t an issue.
Theater Latte Da’s production is brilliantly directed by Peter Rothstein. His use of the ensemble with the movement of set pieces gives you the illusion you too are walking the streets of Florence. The orchestra is beautifully placed on stage and can only be seen when it make sense to the current scene. Music Director Denise Prosek uses a five piece orchestra (piano, cello, harp, violin and bass) that sounds like a full orchestra. The sound of the music or orchestration is not compromised one bit.
I worked with Jessica Fredrickson and Aleks Knezevich, Clara and Fabrizio respectively, when they portrayed the same roles in Bloomington Civic Theatre’s production. They’ve only improved and grown as actors since. Their chemistry in this production is superb. This may be due to the fact that they are engaged in real life. Either way you feel as though you are sitting front row as a timeless love story is unfolds.
The show is playing now through April 7th at the Ordway’s McKnight Theatre. For tickets contact Theater Latte Da: theaterlatteda.com