The Nap in the Piazza

I saw the Wednesday matinee of The Light in the Piazza at Arena Stage.  I found aspects of the production so soothing and hypnotic that I have to admit that I was out cold for at least half of each act.  I’m assuming that I didn’t snore too much or my subscription partner would have nudged me (unless he was out, too). 

From what I could tell, this was a lovely production of the show.  The production used a scaled-down orchestra and company from the Broadway version, and I didn’t feel like the reduction in grandeur did anything to decrease the piece.  As a matter of fact, the combination of the reduced orchestration, and the vocal approach of the cast made the music sound far more accessible than I remember the original production.  This is really hard music, and the cast did a great job of making it approachable.  A lot of credit also goes to director Molly Smith for the clarity of the storytelling. 

 On the downside, I think the clarity of the storytelling and approachability of the material exposed the fact that the piece is a bit thin.  The whole package (that I was awake for) struck me as much less profound than I recall the Broadway version being.  The cast is terrific, and I certainly woke up toward the end of the first act when Hollis Resnick sang Dividing Day.

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