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Theater REVIEW - The Light in the Piazza at Spreckels in Rohnert Park – by Harry Duke


Theater REVIEW - The Light in the Piazza

at Spreckels in Rohnert Park – by Harry Duke 

Have you grown weary of theatre companies doing their best to put up “Grade A” productions of “Grade B” musicals based on “Grade C” television shows and movies?

Are you willing to take a chance on a show with which you may not be familiar but won six of the eleven Tony Awards for which its original production was nominated? 

Jacob Bronson

Would you like to see a musical whose book is by Craig Lucas, the same playwright responsible for the heartwarming Prelude to a Kiss and the absolutely charming Amelie, A New Musical running now at Berkeley Rep?

Do your ears ache for a lush, melodic yet complex score written in the tradition of the classic American musical (which won two Tony’s for its composer Adam Guettel) played by six exquisitely talented musicians and under the direction of one of the Bay Area’s premiere musical directors?

Would you like to hear the lyrics that accompany that score sung beautifully by trained voices?

Are you seeking to attend a show with characters and situations rooted in reality with all the glorious flaws and imperfections inherent to the human condition? 

Would you like to see a story about love found, love lost, the hopes we have for others, the regrets we have for ourselves and the struggle of every parent to ensure a better life for a child enacted by excellent performers representing several generations?

Are you anxious to see fresh faces and hear new voices side-by-side on the stage with some talented North Bay regulars?

Jennifer MitchellAre you willing to take on the challenge of seeing a show where, while important portions of the dialogue and lyrics are performed in a foreign language (and subtitles are not provided), you find yourself understanding exactly what is being said and what is being felt courtesy the talents of the performers?

Would you like to see a musical where the dancing is simply used as to “accent” the emotions and mindsets of the main characters and is performed by trained dancers?

Can you appreciate a show where the technical elements of costume, lighting, sound, scenic design and judicious use of projections truly enhance and highlight the work of the on-stage talent?

Would you like to see a show in a space large enough to present a full, large scale theatrical production yet intimate enough to allow for a real connection between performer and audience member?

The Light in the Piazza

Can you acknowledge how difficult it is to produce a show this challenging and do it so well on all counts?

Do you understand that your support of theatre of this quality anywhere enhances the community’s chances of seeing more theatre of this quality everywhere?

If your answer to any one of these questions is “yes” (and I hope it's the answer to many more than one), then seek out one of the remaining performances of The Light in the Piazza at Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park.

Director Gene Abravaya, Musical Director Diego Garcia, musicians Lucas Sherman, Randall Pratt, Felicia McFall, Lisa Doyle, Carol Vines, Laurie Bilbro, performers Eileen Morris, Jennifer Mitchell, Jacob Bronson, Steven Kent Barker, Barbara McFadden, Tariq Malik, Amy Marie Webber, an ensemble and a design and choreography team have come together to present a theatrical gift of talent, of heart, and of beauty to this community.

Will you accept it?

The Light in the Piazza

presented by Spreckels Theatre Company

through October 25

Fri/Sat  @ 8pm, Sun @ 2pm

Spreckels Performing Arts Center
5409 Snyder Lane
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 588-3400

Photos by Eric Chazankin

Harry Duke - Live Theater reviews