Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Light In the Piazza

Acting Up Stage Company presents the Canadian premiere of The Light In the Piazza running until February 21. Like previous productions from this company, it is done with impeccable taste and style.

The story concerns an American mother who, in 1953, brings her slightly wonky 26-year-old daughter with her to Florence. The girl isn’t there five minutes before falling in love with a cute Italian boy. He doesn’t seem to notice that she is mentally challenged, which doesn’t say much about his acumen. It’s not much of a plot, but I felt for the mother. She is faced with that dilemma, when parents of retarded adults must face the fact that their child is a sexual being with needs.

It’s a lovely production, one that transported me to Italy and made me feel like I myself was on vacation. The sparse set and the well-chosen costumes both work well, and the performances, even when they border on ham, are quite charming. Patty Jamieson, who plays the mother, has a Patricia Clarkson quality, and the Italian brothers are played by good looking actors Jeff Lillico and Michael Torontow. Torontow is especially good at channeling Marcello Mastroianni. I enjoyed The Light In the Piazza very much.