Based on the 1960 novella by Elizabeth Spencer, The Light in the Piazza takes place in Florence and Rome in the summer of 1953, with occasional side trips to America. Margaret Johnson, the elegant, self-possessed wife of a successful American businessman, is traveling abroad with her daughter Clara, a beautiful and poised young woman. As they discover the sights of the city, Clara meets a handsome young Italian, Fabrizio. Their chance encounter turns to a deep attraction and, ignoring the barrier of their different languages, they fall in love. Margaret, opposing their courtship, attempts to keep the young lovers apart. Despite her efforts, however, Clara becomes ever more involved with Fabrizio and, soon, his family. As the story progresses, the true complexity of their union surfaces for, in addition to the cultural differences between them, Clara is not quite all that she seems.
The musical features a book by Craig Lucas, with music and lyrics by Adam Guettel. Lucas directs, with music irection by Ted Sperling.