I have not been in the building they now call the Ziegfeld Theater since I was a kid and it was known as the Country Club Theater back then. The building on 40th and Washington Boulevard really brought back some fond memories of my childhood. When I volunteered to go to the musical, I had mixed feelings. One of them was what was the building going to be like and the second was would I enjoy the musical. Musicals to me have been a hit and miss situation. Some of them I really enjoyed and others not so much.
Well I just want to start out by saying that if you don’t go see The Light in the Piazza at The Ziegfeld Theater, then you are missing out! It was a romantic musical, set in Italy. The performers had wonderful voices and their acting was superb. This was one of those times when I am totally amazed by the talents of residents of our local theaters. Rachel Shull’s character Margaret Johnson just blew me away, her beautiful voice and her witty narratives throughout the show were flawless. The musical numbers were entrancing because the vocals and the orchestra meshed perfectly. The orchestra was right in synch with every little word or action.
Also, thank you Lindsea Garside, who portrayed Margaret’s daughter the fun and lively Clara Johnson. She sang a song by the name of “The Beauty Is”, that was mesmerizing. She made you fall in love with the character right from the beginning. Scott Stuarts character Fabrizio made a perfect suitor for Clara and their duets together were angelic. Caleb Parry was the Managing Director and was also cast as the Patriarch of the Nacarelli family. Alina Gatrell was an excellent choice for Signora Nacarelli, the mother of this traditional Italian family. David Knowles and Heidi Hunt were also very convincing and delightful as their eldest son Giuseppi and his wife Franca. The Nacarelli family was so believable, you could almost smell the garlic when they sat down to eat dinner.
The Music was Directed and Conducted by Rick Rea who is a jack of all trades and master of all! From scenic designer, pianist, artistic director, marketing, etc. The precision and the efficiency of the scene changes were done so well, that you would have thought they were choreographed. I was simply amazed at how easily the scenes were changed without incident or delay. Because of this smooth transition, you felt like you were transported to Italy.
I also want to give kudos to Troy Hone and the rest of the cast for giving my fiancé and I a night that we will always cherish. Due to this refreshing musical, I have renewed faith and curiosity in our local theaters. So, thank you again Indie Ogden and The Ziegfeld theater for allowing me to experience such an awesome performance in the same little building that I used to enjoy as a kid. Ogden you are not only getting bigger, but you are also getting better.