“Light in the Piazza” Lights Up South Coast Repertory’s Stage

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The cast of South Coast Repertory Theatre’s “The Light in the Piazza.” — Debora Robinson / SCR


“Say it Somehow,” would be the song that perfectly describes how speechless this cast left me after their performance. Being a common theatergoer myself I was surprised I had never been to a performance at South Coast Repertory before. Most of the actors in the cast had Broadway experience underneath their belt and were perfectly casted for this larger than life show.

In case you are unfamiliar with this musical, “Light in the Piazza,” is the story of Margaret Johnson (Patti Cohenour) and her daughter Clara’s (Erin Mackey) vacation in Florence, Italy during the 1950’s. Clara meets Fabrizio Naccarelli (David Burnham) the love of her life while touring the sights with her mother. The events following make it more difficult for Margaret Johnson to handle as Clara exhibits the constant desire to be treated as an adult despite mental and emotional complications.

Patti Cohenour is hilariously realistic as Margaret Johnson, the controlling but loving mother. Erin Mackey complimented her very well as her daughter Clara—the two shared effortless comedic timing. David Burnham’s brought the romance to the show with his Italian serenading and beautiful voice—the perfect Fabrizio. And let’s not forget the actors who nearly stole the show providing the comic relief, the family of Fabrizio portrayed by Perry Ojeda as Signor Naccarrelli, Mary Gutzi as Signora Naccarelli, Christopher Newell as Giuseppe Naccarelli, and Melina Kalomas as France Naccarelli.

“Light in the Piazza,” is the perfect combination of comedy and drama, making it a realistic appreciation of life, love, and hope. South Coast Repertory states the performance is appropriate for middle school and above as it does contain herbal cigarette smoking. I would however suggest it for high school and above as the show does have mature content. The entire performance runs about two hours and 15-minutes including one 15-minute intermission.

Since South Coast Repertory is located conveniently across the street from South Coast Plaza, there are shops and restaurants to enjoy prior to the performance. Looking for a restaurant with ambiance and style, try Scott’s Seafood or Mastro’s Steakhouse.

Parking for South Coast Repertory is $10 in the parking structure located by the venue. Do not park in the South Coast Plaza parking lot as they are now implementing a new rule prohibiting those watching a performance from using their parking lot. Vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Tickets to go see “Light in the Piazza,” can be purchased online at: http://www.scr.org/calendar/view?id=6096. Looking for a discounted ticket? Purchase tickets right at the box office two hours prior to show time. Performances run until February 23rd so don’t miss the opportunity to see this wonderful production!

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 South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa — Tamara Mendoza/Suitable Travel Today