A Light In The Piazza: Katie Clarke to play Clara Johnson

Katie Clarke will assume the role of Clara Johnson in the The Light In The Piazza from the 16 Dec 2005.

Kelli O'Hara, who originated the role of Clara will play her final performance on the 4 Dec 2005. Jennifer Hughes, who understudies the role, will perform the role of Clara the 6 - 15 Dec 2005.

Katie Clarke, who will be making her New York stage debut in The Light In The Piazza, has appeared in her native Texas in Anything Goes at Houston's Theater Under The Stars and in The Exonerated, Ragtime, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Anything Goes and The Sound of Music at Sam Houston State University, where she'll graduate with a BFA in Musical Theatre next month. In 2004 she was a featured soloist in Tony Award winning choreographer Ann Reinking's Broadway Theatre Project.

The Light In The Piazza is currently booking to the 26 Mar 2006 at the Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre. The show opened on the 18 Apr 2005, following previews from the 17 Mar2005.

The Light In The Piazza has music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, with book by Craig Lucas.

The Light In The Piazza based on the novella by Elizabeth Spencer, is set in the summer of 1953 and tells the story of a mother and daughter traveling through Italy, and the daughter's romance with a handsome, high-spirited Florentine. They fall in love. As their relationship develops, the girl's mother must reveal the truth that will surely test that love.

The cast, directed by Bartlett Sher, includes Glenn Seven Allen, Michael Berresse, Sarah Uriarte Berry, David Bonanno, David Burnham, Victoria Clark, Patti Cohenour, Beau Gravitte, Laura Griffith, Chris Sarandon, Prudence Wright Holmes, Jennifer Hughes, Felicity LaFortune, Catherine LaValle, Michel Moinot, Aaron Lazar, Peter Samuel, Joseph Siravo, Diane Sutherland.

The Light In The Piazza has set design by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Christopher Akerlind and sund by ACME Sound Partners.

The show opened to average notices from the popular press, Michael Kuchwara of the Assoiciated Press said "A show of considerable beauty � more melodically, emotionally and visually satisfying than any other musical this," while Ben Brentley of the New York Times wrote "Encouragingly ambitious and discouragingly unfulfilled new show."

newyorktheatreguide.com's reviewer, Polly Wittenberg, wrote of Victoria Clark's performance as being "exceptionally warm, subtle and powerful... She clearly deserves billing above the title." and went on to say "I can�t say enough good things about the lovely set by Michael Yeargan, the handsome costumes by Catherine Zuber, and the mystical lighting by Christopher Akerlind except that they made me want to go and book a room overlooking the Arno immediately."

You can read Polly Wittenberg's full review here

The Light In The Piazza won six 2005 Tony Awards - (Best Leading Actress - Victoria Clark; Best Original Score; Best Scenic Design; Best Costume Design; Best Lighting Design and Best Orchestrations), - the most of any play or musical this season.

The Musical also won five 5 Drama Desk Awards - (Outstanding Actress in a Musical - Victoria Clark; Outstanding Music; Outstanding Orchestrations; Outstanding Set Design and Outstanding Light Design)and two Outer Critics Circle Awards (Outstanding Actress - Victoria Clark - and Outstanding Lighting Design).

Originally published on

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