Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the UK premiere of Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas’ musical.
Time Out: ★★ “Still, these lyrical passages aren’t matched by this production’s clumsy staging: the substantial plaster bum of a Roman statue looms over a dated-feeling curve of Florentine scenery, which feels strangely cramped in Southbank Centre’s vast auditorium.”
The Telegraph: ★★★ “Adam Guettel has form in that his mother was Richard Rodgers’ daughter, but don’t let that ancestry fool you into thinking that he has inherited his grandpa’s wonderful way with a waltz. Guettel’s music for The Light in the Piazza – a show first performed in New York in 2005 and previously staged here at the Curve in Leicester four years later – is fluent in its vocal lines and sophisticated in its orchestral craft”
The Stage: ★★★ “Everything in Daniel Evans’ production feeds into a picture of elegant, romantic Florence: the crumbling stone walls, the shrines and shutters, Fleming’s drop dead gorgeous gowns, which change at a rate of knots.”
The Times: ★★ “Good taste is no substitute for genuine emotion”
London Theatre.co.uk: ★★★★★ “The Royal Festival Hall is not necessarily the most hospitable home for an intimate show you want to hug to your heart, but sound designer Mick Potter ensures that every word is heard, and Robert Jones’ static cut-away set of a Florentine piazza provides a visually beautiful backdrop. This is a real summer treat.”
Evening Standard: ★★★ “Daniel Evans’ efficient production can’t mask the flimsiness of the plot, and Craig Lucas’ book doesn’t quite know what to do with the moral quandaries it sets up. Although there are bursts of both pathos and sunny silliness, too often this is a self-consciously tasteful show.”
The Guardian:★★★ “This feels of a piece with the aura of lazy, hazy nostalgia that clings to the whole musical. There’s a lot of light in this piazza, but not a corresponding amount of shade.”
London Theatre1: ★★★★ “Overall, it’s all rather stylish and straightforward, and far more serious than silly.”
The Light in the Piazza will play at the Royal Festival Hall until 5 July 2019.