CHICAGO —Producers John Berry CBE and Anthony Lilley OBE for Scenario Two and Karl Sydow announced today that three-time Olivier Award winner Alex Jennings (Netflix’s The Crown) and rising star Solea Pfeiffer (Almost Famous, Hamilton) will join four-time Grammy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Renée Fleming in the limited Chicago presentation of six-time Tony Award-winning musical The Light in the Piazza, for ten performances only, December 14-29, 2019, at Lyric Opera House (press opening Saturday, Dec. 14). Tickets start at $49 and are on sale now. The Chicago engagement follows the production’s acclaimed run at the Royal Festival Hall in London this summer. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.lightinthepiazzathemusical.com.
The Light in the Piazza’s rich, emotional score is unique amongst 21st-century Broadway musicals and has contributed to its broad acclaim. Unapologetically lyrical and romantic, it was described upon its Broadway debut as having “the most intensely romantic score of any musical since West Side Story” (New York Times). The production moved to Broadway following a world premiere co-production from Intiman Theatre and Goodman Theatre.
In the forthcoming Chicago engagement of The Light in the Piazza, Alex Jennings stars as Signor Naccarelli and Solea Pfeiffer stars as Clara Johnson opposite Renée Fleming’s Margaret Johnson, who embarks on a fateful trip to Florence with her daughter in the summer of 1953. A gust of wind whisks Clara’s hat into the hands of local dreamer Fabrizio Naccarelli and it’s love at first sight—but Clara isn’t quite what she appears. Soon her mother is faced with a heart-wrenching decision, and they must all confront a secret that’s been kept in the shadows for far too long.
Acclaimed stage, TV and film artist Alex Jennings has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and throughout the West End. He played Edward VIII in the critically acclaimed Netflix series The Crown and Prince Charles in The Queen. Solea Pfeiffer is currently performing as Penny Lane in the world premiere musical adaptation of the hit film Almost Famous at The Old Globe and will star as Eva Peron in New York City Center’s upcoming revival of Evita. She previously starred as Eliza in the West Coast premiere of Hamilton.
Based on the novel by Elizabeth Spencer, The Light in the Piazza book is by Craig Lucas, with music and lyrics by Adam Guettel. Scenario Two’s production of The Light in the Piazza is directed by Olivier Award winner and critically acclaimed musicals expert Daniel Evans and designed by Robert Jones, with costumes by Brigitte Reiffenstuel, movement by Lucy Hind, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Kai Harada. The ravishing score will be played by the Lyric Opera Orchestra under the baton of Kimberly Grigsby, conductor of the original Lincoln Center production.
Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, performing on the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses, theaters, and concert halls. Winner of four Grammy® awards, and recipient of the US National Medal of Arts from President Obama, Renée has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for HM Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In 2014, Renée brought her voice to a vast new audience as the first classical artist ever to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Last spring, Renée appeared opposite Ben Whishaw in Norma Jean Baker of Troy to open The Shed at New York City’s Hudson Yards. She earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the 2018 Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. Her new album, Lieder: Brahms, Schumann, and Mahler, was released by Decca in June. She was heard on the soundtracks of the 2018 Best Picture Oscar winner The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and she provided Julianne Moore’s singing voice for the film Bel Canto. As Artistic Advisor to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Renée spearheads a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health focused on music, health, and neuroscience. In 2010 she was named the first-ever creative consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Among her many degrees is an Honorary Doctorate from Northwestern University, awarded in 2018, when she also delivered the commencement address. Other awards include the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
Alex Jennings is a three-time Olivier Award winning TV, film and theatre actor who has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and throughout the West End. His three Olivier Awards include Best Comedy Performance for Too Clever by Half (Old Vic), Best Actor for Peer Gynt (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Best Actor in a Musical for My Fair Lady (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane). His screen appearances include playing Edward VIII in the critically acclaimed Netflix series The Crown, Alan Bennett in The Lady in the Van and Prince Charles in The Queen, alongside his many television roles which most recently include Unforgotten (ITV), A Very English Scandal (BBC), The Halcyon (Left Bank) and Victoria (Mammoth Screen).
Solea Pfeiffer is set to star as Penny Lane in the musical adaptation of the hit film Almost Famous at The Old Globe and as Eva Peron in New York City Center’s upcoming revival of Evita. She most recently starred in the critically acclaimed run of Encores! Off-Center’s production of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World. Prior to that, she starred as Eliza in the West Coast premiere of Hamilton. Solea’s first job out of college was Maria in the LA Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel Hollywood Bowl production of West Side Story. She later reprised the role in Steven Reineke’s National Symphony Orchestra production at the Kennedy Center. On television, Solea recurs on The Good Fight and appeared in one of the final episodes of Scandal.
The Light in the Piazza
Presented by John Berry & Anthony Lilley for Scenario Two and Karl Sydow
Book by Craig Lucas
Music and Lyrics by Adam Guettel
December 14-29, 2019 (press opening Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.)
At Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago
About Scenario Two
Scenario Two is a new UK company founded by John Berry CBE and Anthony Lilley OBE, which specializes in commercial theatrical production in London and internationally. It brings together the very best talent from the world of opera and musical theatre with top performers and creatives from other industries such as film, television and theatre. The company is creating exciting new productions of classic musicals and developing new commissions and thereby aims to attract both existing theatre-goers and new audiences in the West End and major theatres around the world. For more information visit www.scenario-two.com.