Love stories in Italy, yes please. The Life Like Company presents ‘The Light in the Piazza‘, a musical directed by the very talented Theresa Borg, now showing at the Arts Centre Melbourne.
I was excited to see the musical — not only because it’s a love story set in Italy, but also because this is the first fully-staged professional production of the show to be staged in Australasia.
It is summer in Florence, Italy in 1953. Mother and daughter are southern women who are touring the romantic and gorgeous Tuscan countryside when, as we would all expect, girl meets boy. Of course, mother disapproves. But is it enough to stop this whirlwind love affair that age or language cannot hinder?
As we can expect from any great love affair, there are secrets and revelations that may destroy the love. This musical is as much about the love between Clara and her Italian suitor as it is about the love of mother and daughter, and all the hope and life that represents.
I loved the costumes and accessories, they were so authentic. The performances were outstanding. The main characters, Chelsea Plumley (Margaret Johnson) and Genevieve Kingsford (Clara Johnson) gave beautiful performances, while Madison Green who plays Franca Naccarelli had a powerful stage presence. Note that even though some songs and monologue are in Italian, this did not prove a barrier as the inference of what was being said was clear.
Will it end happily? While misgivings and misinterpretations are core to any performance, you are left to wonder whether there had been any misinterpretations rather than acceptance.
This is a short run musical that is not to be missed. ‘The Light in the Piazza’ will leave you feeling hopeful about the future.
Angela is a lover of musicals and all things Italian.