The Light in the Piazza is not the most popular or well known musical; however that does nothing to blunt the poignancy and tenderness of it’s narrative. The South Bank Centres production was all around spectacular and an amazing way to spend two and a half hours. The orchestrations combined with strong performances by Dove Cameron, Rob Houchen, Celinde Schoenmaker, and Renee Fleming, would have moved the most stony hearted audience member. I was transfixed from the first moment conductor Kimberly Grigsby qued the opening notes of the orchestra, to the final note sung by the amazing Renee Fleming.
The stage exposed the majority of the orchestra, which initially was concerning because it could potentially be distracting and shatter the illusion of the show for viewers. However, this was absolutely not the case. The set was striking, impressive, and became the playground for the characters to enhance the story. Whilst the whole cast acquitted themselves admirably special praise is due to Rob Houchen’s performance as Fabrizio, the love interest opposite of Dove Cameron. Houchen’s performance was engaging, dynamic, and was accented perfectly by his powerful vocals from start to finish. The only element of this production that was disappointing was the number of empty seats. Not because there was an excessive number but each one deserved to be filled with someone who had not had the pleasure to experience this story; which I would highly recommend