November 18, 2008    
Contact: Heather Nowlin
(801) 581-7222
heather.nowlin@ptc.utah.edu

  PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS
 
The Light in the Piazza

Book by Craig Lucas
Music and Lyrics by Adam Guettel

Pioneer Theatre Company presents the Utah premiere of the 2005 Tony Award-winning musical The Light in the Piazza, December 5 through December 20, 2008.

Originally developed with the assistance of the Sundance Institute Theatre Laboratory, The Light in the Piazzapremiered at Lincoln Center and was nominated for eleven Tony Awards in 2005. It was the winner of six of those awards, including Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations. Craig Lucas (author of such other works as Prelude to a Kiss and the film The Dying Gaul) wrote the book for the musical. Adam Guettel, the grandson of Richard Rodgers (of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame), wrote the music and lyrics. Critics have praised the show all over the country; The Chicago Tribune describes it as having “…the most beautiful score written for the American theatre in at least 20 years [with] uncommonly wise and emotional lyrics.” The Wall Street Journal calls Guettel “…the most gifted and promising theatre composer of his generation.” New York Magazine calls the show “breathtaking, original and daring,” and the New York Observer praises The Light in the Piazza as “a work of such consummate beauty, truth, energy and accomplishment that you leave the theater filled with joy and revived by hope for the future.”

The story centers on Margaret and Clara Johnson, an American mother and daughter traveling through Italy in 1953. In a Florentine piazza, Clara meets Fabrizio, a handsome young Italian man, and the two fall instantly in love. Margaret seems overly protective of her daughter, and we eventually learn that a secret in Clara’s past has made the possibility of love a remote one for her. As they both meet Fabrizio’s family, and it becomes clear that Clara and Fabrizio are truly in love, Margaret must make a decision which could ensure her daughter’s happiness – or destroy it forever.

Margaret and Clara Johnson are played by AEA actresses Lynne Wintersteller and Betsy Morgan, respectively. Wintersteller starred on Broadway in A Grand Night for Singing, and as Grace in Annie (also in the first and fourth national tours of that musical). Her off-Broadway credits include Nunsense, I Sent A Letter To My Love, and Gifts of the Magi. She received a New York Musical Festival Best Actress Award for her role in Richard Cory, and a Best Actress Drama Desk nomination for Closer Than Ever. Her television credits include Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Chapelle’s Show. This marks her PTC debut.

Betsy Morgan, also making her debut with PTC, has been seen on Broadway in The Little Mermaid and High Fidelity, and appeared on the Original Cast recordings of both shows. Morgan’s other New York work includes The Addams Family with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, Prairie with Patrick Swayze (directed by Francesca Zambello), Leap of Faith directed by Taylor Hackford, The Fantasticks 2006 revival directed by Tom Jones, and Bernarda Alba at Lincoln Center, directed by Graciela Daniele. She was also in the national tour of Mamma Mia!

Fabrizio Naccarelli, the handsome object of Clara’s affections, is played by AEA member Constantine Germanacos. Germanacos has worked in New York with such names as Faith Prince (in the off-Broadway production of A Room With a View), and in concert with Paul Gemignani and Marin Mazzie. He was trained at the Manhattan School of Music, and at the SITI Company (founded by Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki). This marks his PTC debut.

Fabrizio’s parents, Signor and Signora Naccarelli, are played by Equity members Martin Vidnovic and Debra Cardona. Vidnovic has appeared on Broadway in many shows, including Brigadoon for which he received a Tony Nomination. He also has been seen on Broadway in Baby, Oklahoma!, A Grand Night for Singing, Guys and Dolls, as well as The King and I and Home Sweet Homer both starring the late Yul Brynner. This is his PTC debut.

Debra Cardona appeared in the off-Broadway production of Bingo, as well as at Madison Square Garden in A Christmas Carol. Most recently she toured in My Fair Lady as the Queen of Transylvania; her other national tours include Guys and Dolls and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Fabrizio’s brother Giuseppe and sister-in-law Franca, are played by Tony Falcon and Catherine LaValle. Falcon originated the role of Piragua Guy in In the Heights off-Broadway. His other off-Broadway credits include Kismet, Boobs! the Musical, and At the Diner. He appeared on Broadway in The Mambo Kings. This will be his PTC debut.

Catherine LaValle understudied the role of Franca Naccarelli in the original Lincoln Center production of The Light in the Piazza. She also appeared on Broadway in The Scarlet Pimpernel, and understudied the role of Maria in the first national tour of The Sound of Music starring Richard Chamberlain. This will be her PTC debut.

The part of Roy Johnson, husband of Margaret and father to Clara, is played by Michael McKenzie. McKenzie appeared on Broadway in Waiting in the Wings, The Man Who Came to Dinner, and Eastern Standard. He returns to PTC after appearing in Ten Little Indians.

Included in the ensemble are AEA actors Ronald L. Brown, Mary Fanning Driggs, Steven Fehr, Justin Ivie, and Anne Stewart Mark. Additional ensemble members are Nick Bayne, Britany Dean, Emily Moffat, Rhett Richins, and Alicia Washington.

John Going, currently the Associate Artistic Director of the Olney Theatre in Maryland, directs the production. On Broadway, Going directed Tony Lo Bianco in Hizzoner! Hisoff-Broadway credits include Mart Crowley's A Breeze from the Gulf, and his work has been seen in Moscow, Johannesburg, Vienna, Frankfurt, Toronto and Winnipeg. A veteran of regional theatres across the country, he has staged plays at Seattle Repertory, Philadelphia Drama Guild, and Pittsburgh Public Theater. Going returns to PTC after directing last season’s The Heiress.

Jayne Luke is choreographer for the production.  In addition to being an accomplished actress, Luke has choreographed several productions for PTC. Other PTC choreography credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pride and Prejudice, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Phantom, BigRiver,and Evita.

Michael Rice provides the musical direction for the production. Rice was the original arranger/conductor for the off-Broadway hit Nunsense. His Broadway and national tour credits include the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Peter Pan, Cats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Camelot, and Grand Hotel. He was also involved with the Anne Bogart Premieres American Vaudeville and Marathon Dancing with the SITI Company (founded by Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki). This is his PTC debut.

Scenic design is by Gary English. Currently Head of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut and Artistic Director of the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, English has designed scenery and costumes for off-Broadway, television and major theaters throughout the country. His awards include Best Design recognition by the Pittsburgh Press for The Odyssey and Sunday in the Park With George. Last season, English designed the set for The Vertical Hour at PTC.

Resident PTC costume designer Carol Wells-Day designs the costumes for the production. Her recent designs for PTC include The Heiress, Doubt, Lost in Yonkers, and Pride and Prejudice. Wells-Day was assistant designer for Inherit the Wind at the Ford Theatre in Washington D.C. She worked for the Utah Shakespearean Festival for 13 years as a costume shop supervisor and designer.

Lighting design is by Dennis Parichy, who has lit numerous productions directed by John Going at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnatti Playhouse and most recently Doubt, 13 Rue de l’Amour, and The Constant Wife at the Olney Theatre. Parichy has been designing lighting since 1964. His Broadway credits include Talley’s Folly, Burn This, The Water Engine and others.

Sound design is by Joe Payne. Payne is in his ninth season as Resident Sound Designer for Pioneer Theatre Company. He has designed sound and/or composed music for more than 100 productions in theatres throughout the country.

Hair and Make-up Designer Amanda French, PTC resident designer, has worked for theatres all over the west. She is a contributing writer in the ninth edition of Stage Makeup by Richard Corson and James Glavan and is a featured artist in The Costume Technician’s Handbook by Rosemary Ingham and Liz Covey.

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MEDIA PHOTO SHOOT: There will be a media photo shoot on Monday, November 24th, 2008. The shoot will be held at 7:30 P.M. at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 E., SLC. Please RSVP at (801) 581-7222.

PHOTOS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD: High-resolution color photos of this production will be available for media use on the PTC website beginning Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 after 3:00 p.m. Go directly to www.pioneertheatre.org /season/presspix.html

TV CAMERA FILMING: Filming a short segment of the production during Preview or Opening Night for press use can be arranged. Call (801) 581-6270.

INTERVIEWS: Interviews with the cast and artistic staff are available. Call (801) 581-7222.

PRESS TOURS: Tours of the set for the press are available. Call (801) 581-6270.

WHO:              Pioneer Theatre Company

WHAT:           The Light in the Piazza
Book by Craig Lucas; Music and Lyrics by Adam Guettel

WHEN:           December 5 – December 20, 2008

TIMES:           Mondays - Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.
                        Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 p.m.
                        Saturday matinees, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:         Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre
                        300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City

PRICE:           $26 - $49; Children K – 12 are half price on Mondays and Tuesdays

MORE INFO:            Box Office (801) 581-6961. The Box Office is open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday - Friday, and Saturdays when there are performances
                    

CAST:
Nick Bayne................................................................. Ensemble
Ronald L. Brown*....................................................... Priest/US-Signor Naccarelli
Debra Cardona*......................................................... Signora Naccarelli
Britany Dean............................................................... Ensemble/US-Franca Naccarelli
Mary Fanning Driggs*................................................. Ensemble/US-Signora Naccarelli
Tony Falcon*.............................................................. Guiseppe Naccarelli
Steven Fehr*............................................................... Ensemble/US-Giuseppe Naccarelli
Constantine Germanacos*........................................... Fabrizio Naccarelli
Justin Ivie*.................................................................. Ensemble/US-Roy Johnson
Catherine LaValle*...................................................... Franca Naccarelli
Anne Stewart Mark*................................................... Ensemble/US-Margaret Johnson
Michael McKenzie*.................................................... Roy Johnson
Emily Moffat................................................................ Ensemble/US-Clara Johnson
Betsy Morgan*............................................................ Clara Johnson
Rhett Richins............................................................... Ensemble
Martin Vidnovic*......................................................... Signor Naccarelli
Alicia Washington........................................................ Ensemble
Lynne Wintersteller*.................................................... Margaret Johnson

* Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association.

ARTISTIC TEAM:
Director....................................................................... John Going
Choreographer............................................................ Jayne Luke
Musical Director.......................................................... Michael Rice
Set Designer................................................................ Gary English
Costume Designer....................................................... Carol Wells-Day   
Lighting Designer......................................................... Dennis Parichy
Sound Designer........................................................... Joe Payne
Wig and Make-up Designer......................................... Amanda French