Musical about art and love has Utah beginnings


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A play once developed in Utah went onto Broadway and became a hit. "The Light in the Piazza" has returned to Utah.

The Sundance Institute Theatre Laboratory helped develop the original play, then "The Light in the Piazza" was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and won six in 2005. Now Pioneer Theatre Company has produced the regional premiere of a much-loved, romantic musical.

It's 1953 and an American mother and daughter have traveled to Florence. Tony-award winning "The Light in the Piazza" tells the story of their experiences with people and art.

Musical about art and love has Utah beginnings

Two famous, priceless paintings in the Uffizi museum and a bronze sculpture are mentioned by name in the script, so they had to be correct. Gary English, scenic designer for "The Light in the Piazza", says, "The whole problem of design in the theater is to create a work of art that is a fiction, right? And at the same time communicates something to the audience that underpins the action."

The original play had its beginnings and development in Utah. Charles Morey, artistic director for Pioneer Theatre Company, says, "Sundance took the project on and worked to develop it down at the playwright's lab for part of a summer, for a couple of weeks and very, very successfully, obviously. It's wonderful to have this connection to another Utah Arts Institution as well."

Musical about art and love has Utah beginnings

So, from our arts community came a critically-acclaimed Broadway production about art that has returned for a regional premiere.

Lynne Wintersteller, plays Margaret Johnson in "The Light in the Piazza." She says, "There's a favorite moment of mine, at the beginning of the show, when I walk out and I turn and it's almost like an Etch-a-Sketch of something that comes through, and it just makes me go, 'Here we go, let's start the show.'"

"The Light in the Piazza" runs through Dec. 20 at Pioneer Memorial Theatre at the University of Utah

For ticket information about it and other productions, CLICK HERE

E-mail: cmikita@ksl.com

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Carole Mikita

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