Reviews: Critics Sound Off on The Light in the Piazza at New York City Center Encores! | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: Critics Sound Off on The Light in the Piazza at New York City Center Encores!

Ruthie Ann Miles and Anna Zavelson lead the Adam Guettel-Craig Lucas musical with Chay Yew at the helm.

Ruthie Ann Miles, Anna Zavelson, and the company of The Light in the Piazza Joan Marcus

New York City Center Encores! opened its season-closing production of Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas' The Light in the Piazza June 21, and the reviews are in. Performances will continue at the Manhattan venue through June 25. Chay Yew is at the helm, with Rob Berman as guest music director leading the Encores! Orchestra. Get a first look at the production with newly released photos below.

Tony winner Ruthie Ann Miles leads the cast as Margaret Johnson opposite newcomer Anna Zavelson, a finalist and scholarship winner at the 2022 Jimmy Awards, as Clara Johnson. Also in the cast are Shereen Ahmed as Franca Naccarelli, Andréa Burns as Signora Naccarelli, Rodd Cyrus as Giuseppe Naccarelli, James D. Gish as Fabrizio Naccarelli, Michael Hayden as Roy Johnson, and Ivan Hernandez as Signor Naccarelli.

The ensemble comprises Nick Alvino, Daniel Assetta, Jhailyn Farcon, Alex Humphreys, Mary Illes, Jolina Javier, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Matt Leisy, Katerina McCrimmon, Eliseo Roman, Vishal Vaidya, Kathy Voytko, and J.D. Webster. Casting is by The Telsey Office's Kristian Charbonier and Patrick Goodwin.

Read the reviews below:

New York Stage Review (Melissa Rose Bernardo)

The New York Times (Naveen Kumar)*

TheaterMania (David Gordon)

Theater Pizzazz (Brian Scott Lipton)

Theatrely (Juan A. Ramírez)

The Wrap (Robert Hofler)*

*This review may require creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.

Based on the novella by Elizabeth Spencer and featuring a book by Lucas and a Tony-winning score by Guettel, The Light in the Piazza follows an American mother vacationing in Florence, Italy, with her daughter, who falls in love with a local man and forces her mother to embrace her own undreamt-of opportunities in the shadow of a tragic accident. Victoria Clark and Kelli O'Hara led the Broadway premiere of the work in 2005, with Clark winning a Tony for her performance. Yew's production reimagines Margaret and Clara part of an Asian-American immigrant family, an effort to explore the way otherness can be amplified when visiting yet another country.

READ: The Ruthie Ann Miles-Led Light in the Piazza Is the Story of an Asian Family

Guettel and Lucas re-teamed to write Days of Wine and Roses, a new musical currently in a world premiere run at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater Company with Kelli O'Hara starring opposite Brian d'Arcy James.

The Encores! production features choreography by Parker Esse, scenic design by Clint Ramos and Miguel Urbino, lighting design by David Weiner, costume design by Linda Cho, sound design by Megumi Katayama, and hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe. Kimberlee Wertz is music coordinator, and Cynthia Cahill is production stage manager.

The Encores! season launched with Dear World, starring Donna Murphy and directed and choreographed by Josh Rhodes earlier this year, and subsequently presented Lionel Bart's Oliver!, with Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet at the helm. The company's 2023-2024 season is set to include productions of Once Upon a Mattress, starring Sutton Foster; Jelly's Last Jam; and Titanic.

This production of The Light in the Piazza is licensed by Concord Theatricals.

See Production Photos of New York City Center Encores!' The Light in the Piazza

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