The Light in the Piazza opened, for what was to be a limited run, at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater on April 18, 2005. It ended up extending a number of times, finally closing July 2, 2006. Will and I saw the show twice during that run and loved it. A lot of other people liked it too. The show won 6 Tony Awards, including Best Score and Best Actress for Victoria Clark.
The show, based on a 1962 movie of the same name, follows Margaret Johnson and her daughter Clara as they vacation in Italy. While there, Clara falls in love with a young Italian and they become engaged. Margaret has to decide whether or not this marriage should take place though because Clara is mentally handicapped due to a childhood accident.
The high point of the show is the final song, sung by Margaret as her daughter is about to be wed. The song is simply gorgeous… the blend of the music with Clark’s voice. The song easily demonstrates why Clark and the score won Tonys. The lyrics offer a simple message for life too: “Love if you can and be loved…may it last forever” This is one of those songs that, when it cycles up in my IPod’s shuffle sequence, I tend to repeat it a time or two just so I can savor it.
This clip is from the PBS Live from Lincoln Center telecast of Piazza back in June 2006. You can see for yourself Clark’s winning performance and see if you find this song to be as magical as I do.