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The Light in the Piazza

The Light in the Piazza cover art

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News & Reviews

  • Adam Guettel to Perform Five-Night Residency at New York's 54 Below

    Composer/lyricist Adam Guettel will return to the New York stage for a five-night, seven-set residency at 54 Below, starting Tuesday, February 19. The program will include both new songs and favorites from throughout Guettel's career. He will be joined by band leader Kim Grigsby and singers Steven Pasquale and Whitney Bashor. Guettel has released three recordings on Nonesuch Records: The Light in the Piazza, Myths and Hymns, and Floyd Collins

  • Adam Guettel's "Floyd Collins" Opens in New Production from Chicago's BoHo Theatre; "A Masterpiece," Raves Wall Street Journal

    A new production of Adam Guettel's critically acclaimed musical Floyd Collins from Chicago's BoHo Theatre company has opened and is earning accolades anew for the piece. "I can't imagine a better revival of a show that makes most of the Broadway musicals of the past decade look like shiny, tawdry junk," exclaims the Wall Street Journal, which calls Floyd Collins "a masterpiece." The Chicago Sun-Times says "the production is utterly enthralling." Also playing in Chicago, at the Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, is Guettel's 2005 Tony Award-winning musical, The Light in the Piazza.

About this Album

“Guettel’s music and lyrics take nothing from the razzle-dazzle bargain basement of feeling; they represent, instead, a genuine expense of spirit…Guettel’s kind of talent cannot be denied. He shouldn’t change for Broadway; Broadway, if it is to survive as a creative theatrical force, should change for him.” —The New Yorker

Nonesuch Records releases the original cast album of Adam Guettel’s new musical, The Light in the Piazza. Craig Lucas wrote the show’s book and Bartlett Sherr directed the Broadway production, which opened at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater in April of 2005, following productions at Seattle’s Intiman and Chicago’s Goodman Theatres. TheWall Street Journal calls The Light in the Piazza “the best new musical to open in New York since Passion,” and calls Guettel “the most gifted and promising theater composer of his generation.” The show has been nominated for eleven Tony Awards—including Best Original Score and Best Book—and eleven Drama Desk Awards, including Best Musical. The Light in the Piazza won two Outer Critics Circle Awards.

The Light in the Piazza, based on the novella of the same name by Elizabeth Spencer, is set in the summer of 1953 and tells the story of a mother and daughter traveling through Italy. While on vacation, the daughter has a romance with a handsome, high-spirited Florentine, despite the mother’s determined efforts to keep the two apart.

The cast of eighteen includes Michael Berresse, Sarah Uriarte Berry, Victoria Clark, Patti Cohenour, Mark Harelik, Matthew Morrison, Kelli O’Hara, and Joseph Siravo. The orchestration is by Ted Sperling and Adam Guettel, music direction by Ted Sperling, and musical staging by Jonathan Butterell.

Adam Guettel wrote the music and lyrics for the musical Floyd Collins (Nonesuch 1997), originally produced at Playwrights Horizons, and for Saturn Returns: A Concert, which was originally produced at the Public Theater and recorded by Nonesuch Records under the title Myths and Hymns. He wrote the music for the New York Theatre Workshop production of John Guare’s Lydie Breeze and collaborated with Guare on Love’s Fire for the Acting Company. Guettel scored the feature documentary, Arguing the World, and the CBS documentary Jack.  Four of his songs are featured on Audra McDonald’s recording Way Back To Paradise (Nonesuch 1998).

Light in the Piazza marks playwright Craig Lucas’ return to Lincoln Center Theater, where his play, God’s Heart, received its world premiere in the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Lucas’ other plays include Reckless (revived earlier this season by the Manhattan Theatre Club), The Dying Gaul, Blue Window. His screenplays include adaptations The Secret Lives of Dentists, Longtime Companion and adaptations of his plays: Prelude to A Kiss, Reckless, Blue Window and, most recently, The Dying Gaul, which also marked his directorial debut and opened last month at the Sundance Film Festival.

Bartlett Sher, the artistic director of Seattle’s Intiman Theatre, won the Callaway Award for his direction of the Theatre For A New Audience (TFANA) production of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, which was the first American Shakespeare production to be seen at the Royal Shakespeare Company. His other New York productions include Moliere’s Don Juan, Harley Granville Barker’s Waste and Pericles for TFANA, Teresa Rybeck’s The Butterfly Collection at Playwrights Horizons, and Mourning Becomes Electra for the New York City Opera


Victoria Clark, vocals (2, 8, 9, 13-15, 18)
Kelli O’Hara, vocals (2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16)
Matthew Morrison, vocals (4, 6, 9-11, 13, 17)
Mark Harelik, vocals (4, 6, 11, 13, 15)
Patti Cohenour, vocals (11, 13)
Michael Berresse, vocals (11, 13)
Sarah Uriarte Berry, vocals (7, 11, 13)
Joseph Siravo, vocals (13)
Company vocals (13): Glenn Seven Allen, David Bonanno, David Burnham, Beau Gravitte, Laura Griffith, Prudence Wright Holmes, Jennifer Hughes, Relicity LaFortune, Catherine LaValle, Michel Moinot, Joseph Siravo

Ted Sperling, conductor
Dan Riddle, associate conductor, piano, celesta,
Violins: Christian Hebel, concertmaster; Sylvia D’Avanzo, Matthew Lehmann, Lisa Matricardi, James Tsao, Katherine Livolsi-Stern, Cenovia Cummins, Victor Schultz, Ann Lehmann, Joyce Hamman, Belinda Whitney, Mikeo Yajima, Shinwon Kim
Cellos: Peter Sachon, Ariane Lallemand, Robert Burkhart, Eugene Moye, Mairi Dorman
Victoria Drake, harp
Brian Cassier, Peter Donovan, basses
Richard Heckman, clarinet, English horn, oboe,
Gili Sharett, bassoon, contrabassoon
Willard Miller, Mark Sherman, percussion
Andrew Schwartz, guitar, mandolin
Adam Guettel, guitar (5, 17)

Produced By Steven Epstein
Recorded April 25–26, at Right Track Recording, New York, NY
Assistant Engineers: Jason Stasium, Timmy Olmstead, Justin Shturtz, Chris Jennings
Editing Engineers: Richard King, Mike Peters; Mix Assistant: JB Park
Mastered by Todd Whitelock and Steven Epstein at Sony BMG Studios, New York, NY
Music Coordinator: Seymour Red Press
Music Copyist: Emily Grishman Music Preparation/Emily Grishman, Katharine Edmonds

All music and lyrics by Adam Guettel
Orchestrations by Ted Sperling and Adam Guettel
With additional orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin   

Design by Evan Gaffney Design
Photography by Joan Marcus
Cover: Victoria Clark, Kelli O’Hara, “Statues and Stories”

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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