Will love survive a mother's determination to end her daughter's romance with an attractive Italian? And why is she willing to subvert her daughter's happiness?



(book), (novel)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Herself - Host
Margaret Johnson / Herself
Clara Johnson / Herself (as Katie Clarke)
Fabrizio Naccarelli / Himself
Signor Naccarelli / Himself
Giuseppe Naccarelli / Himself
Sarah Uriarte Berry ...
Herself / Franca Naccarelli
Patti Cohenour ...
Signora Naccarelli / Herself
Beau Gravitte ...
Roy Johnson / Himself
Felicity LaFortune ...
Tour Guide / Ensemble
Priest / Ensemble
David Bonanno ...
David Burnham ...
Laura Griffith ...
Prudence Wright Holmes ...


The composer-lyricist of "Floyd Collins" and "Myths and Hymns" teams with writer-director Craig Lucas ("Prelude to a Kiss," "Reckless," "Blue Window") for this story of an American girl with a secret who falls deeply in love with an Italian man while visiting Florence with her disapproving mother. Based on the novella by Elizabeth Spencer. Written by Jason Breslin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Music | Musical




Release Date:

15 June 2006 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A Beautiful Love Story
20 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I first learned about "The Light in the Piazza" when I heard a snippet of "Say It Somehow," sung by original Broadway cast members Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Morrison. I bought the recording and fell head over heels in love with both the story and the music. There is something so relevant and so heartwarming about this wonderful show that pulls you right into the characters' world.

Based on a novella written by Elizabeth Spencer, the story is set in post-war, 1950's Italy. It follows a wealthy American named Margaret Johnson (played by a vibrant Victoria Clark, who captured a Tony Award for this role) and her grown-up daughter (Katie Rose Clarke) on vacation. Margaret is extremely overprotective of her beautiful, child-like Clara. When Clara falls in love with a handsome Florentine named Fabrizio (Aaron Lazar), Margaret must learn to overcome her fears and her own disappointments in love to allow her daughter a chance at happiness.

Above all, this is a story devoted to every kind of love, including the love of a mother for the daughter she cannot protect forever, the fading love between a husband and wife, and the intoxicating love of two young people who have just met. There is a theme of loss and renewal that echoes throughout and is summarized beautifully with Margaret's ending ballad: "Can you find in the wide, wide world that someone sees, that someone loves you? Love, love, love if you can, my Clara. Love if you can and be loved. May it last forever."

Victoria Clark is superb as the devoted mother, playing the role with grace and feeling. You can hear her joy and pain in every note of her ringing soprano.

A fabulous performance is given by Aaron Lazar, who looks and sounds exactly like a young, infatuated Italian. Had he played Fabrizio in the original cast, he probably would have won the Tony.

The ensemble cast is also noteworthy, from the wry Signor Nacarelli (Chris Sarandon) to the cynical Franca (Sarah Uriarte Berry).

I would have given this a 10 out of 10 had there been a stronger Clara. Katie Rose Clarke does a great job portraying the emotions of this complex character, but it's often painfully obvious that her voice is not up to par. The role of Clara is tough to sing and requires an actress who can perform it vocally. It's true that original cast member Kelli O'Hara left some pretty big shoes to fill. Clarke does the best that she can, however, and manages to make up for a lot with her expressive face and interpretation of Clara.

All in all, with its deeply moving love story, fantastic performances, and gorgeous lyrical music (composed by Adam Guettel, the grandson of Richard Rodgers of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame), this is a musical that is not to be missed.


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