Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Statues and Stories

Last week we say the touring production of “Light in the Piazza” in San Francisco. It is a new musical by Adam Guettel (grandson of Richard Rodgers) and Craig Lucas, that is based on the novel by Elizabeth Spencer. It is a story of a Florentine holiday romance between an American girl with limited mental capacities and the ardent young Italian man she meets. The girl’s mother puts her trust in the miracle of young love even as she faces the truth about her own marriage. It is very light, delicate, romantic story. A number of the songs are sung in Italian and several of the characters speak only fluent Italian.

Just before the show started a family with two young teenage girls sat down behind us. The girls were all excited and chatty about being out on the town and seeing a touring Broadway show. One of them opened their Playbill and saw the inside cover advertisement for a DVD collection of movies starring Ronald Regan. One says to the other, “Ronald Regan was a movie star?” The other replies, “I thought he was a president.” Talk like this makes one feel very old…

I was a little concerned that the two teenagers were not going to have the patience to sit through a lush, romantic story. Not to worry, they were hooked right from the beginning. We were all breathless on the edge of our seats at the end of the first act when passionate Italian boy, Fabrizio (played wonderfully by David Burnham), takes off his shirt and woos the American girl, Clara. The girls behind us were also audibly stunned in the second act when Clara’s mother has a passionate kiss and embrace with Fabrizio’s father. I could hear their brain cells exploding as they tried to grasp the concept that a mother could have sexual feelings with someone other than her husband. It was a very enjoyable show.

4 comments:

Fourhorsemen said...

congrats on the marriage! i have a striaght friend in the marina who rushed to city hall with his son and threw rice as each couple emgerged from city hall when the major opened the door to gay marriage in 2005.

http://the-fourhorsemen.spaces.live.com/

Castle of Stink said...

Your story reminds me of a friend of mine who sat in front of two teenaged girls at a production of Romeo and Juliet and realized while listening to their conversation at intermission that they didn't realize the couple died at the end... It added a freshness to his own experience as this group seemed to add to yours...

Jere said...

Do you know what blows my mind about this tour? Not that it even exists at all, which is a minor miracle considering that it's most definitely theatre for grown-ups, but that the actress playing Clara is a brunette. Both actresses here were blonde and I'm guessing that they both wore wigs for the show.

I had just assumed that Clara's blondness was part of the color palette of the show, as well as fitting in with her name and the idea that she herself is the "light" in the piazza.

Also, it provided excellent contrast to the other women on stage who were playing Italians and all of whose hair was dark.

I'd love to know what's behind the change.

HAIRYBEARS said...

COOL

GREAT POST

KISSES FROM BRAZIL

HAIRYBEARS
http://hairybears.blogspot.com/

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