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.