Thursday, March 11, 2010

Arena Stage Presents THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA

No this isn't a press release however if people want to send them along with free theater tickets I'll be more then happy to post them.

I read in different articles that Arena Stage a well respected regional theater company located in Washington, DC. Is presenting a Chamber production of the Tony award winning musical "The Light in the Piazza". They are putting doing the show in an intimate way with an equity cast. The production will play in a borrowed space at Crystal City, in Arlington while Arena Stage builds a new location.

The show's story is: "While touring Florence with her mother, Clara meets by chance the handsome Fabrizio. As their tender romance blossoms, Clara's mother struggles to conceal a family secret which may put an end to Clara's happiness as well as to her own."

Playing the role of Margaret is Chicago's musical theater Diva and one of my personal favorite actress ever Hollis Resnik. I will probably attempt a profile of her when I get around it but I don't want to come across as creepy. It's always embarrassing when you get another restraining order served against you. I'm kidding. Really I am, at least for now.

To give you a brief rundown I've seen Hollis in many roles in Chicago and she's one of the top stage actors that Chicago has. I'm surprised she's not treated the same way that some of the Steppenwolf people are however she does work a lot and it's always an interesting role.

Some of her Chicago theatrical triumphs have been Grey Gardens (Northlight Theatre, Sarah Siddons Award), Song & Dance, Evita, Into the Woods, Nine, and Little Shop of Horrors all at the defunct Candlelight Playhouse. Piaf at Interplay, A Little Night Music, Wings, The House of Martin Guerre, and The Beard of Avon. At Court Theatre she's played leading roles in The Little Foxes, The Chairs, Man of La Mancha, The Play's the Thing, The Misanthrope, An Ideal Husband and Celimene and the Cardinal. At the Appletree Theater in Chicago she appeared in Wold Goes Round, Songs for a New World, The Bakers Wife, Pen, and Design for Living. Resnik is also a multiple 9 time Jeff Award winner, 4 Time After Dark Award Winner, 2 time Sarah Siddons Award winner and an Best Actress from Connecticut Critics Circle for Man of La Mancha. Hollis has also starred in the national tours of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Les Misérables.

Margaret Anne Florence is playing Clara and recently appeared Off-Broadway's in The Fantasticks.
The Arena cast will also include Nicholas Rodriguez (Fabrizio Naccarelli), Mary Gutzi (Signora Naccarelli), Ken Krugman (Signor Naccarelli), Ariela Morgenstern (Franca Naccarelli), Jonathan Raviv (Guiseppe Naccarelli), Thomas Adrian Simpson (Roy Johnson), Drew Eshelman (Priest/Ensemble), Jennifer Irons (Tour Guide/Ensemble), Michael Vitaly Sazonov (Ensemble) and understudies Conrad Buck and Kate Guesman.

As a big fan of Resnik's (I followed her career since I was sixteen years old.) I remember being in my high school music class and my music teacher had a sign that was advertising a show at the Marriott Lincolnshire called "Anything Goes". I remember seeing Hollis and the leading actor Kurt Johns and thinking they were both attractive people but I got interested when I saw that Hollis played both The Witch in "Into the Wood" at the Marriott and Fantine in Les Miserables so I wanted to see her and went with my then partner to spend the night closing weekend.

I thought she was dripping with star power, looked amazing, sang her music with this distinct piercing jazz sound and I've been a fan ever since. Knowing that Ms. Resnik usually plays a role once I may have to look at travel plans and go there to see it so I can compare her to the wonderful Mary Ernster who I saw at the Marriott.

Here is Hollis singing Colored Lights from the Rink i concert and her singing "I'm Tired of Loving You from her solo CD. These are not my audios.

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