A Tuscan romance unfolds in ‘A Room With a View’ premiering at The Old Globe


By Diana Saenger

The musical, “A Room with a View,” will have its world premiere at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park on March 2. Based on the novel by E.M. Forster, with book by Marc Acito, music and lyrics by Jeffrey Stock, and additional lyrics by Acito, the show gets off-the chart excitement from its actors.

Kyle Harris (“Sondheim on Sondheim,” “West Side Story”) plays the lead role of George Emerson, a free thinker who becomes attracted to Lucy Honeychurch (Ephie Aardema) in Italy’s beautiful Tuscan countryside. Lucy, a new transplant, hails from England and a far more sheltered upbringing than George.

The storyline is an immortal classic.

“George has passion, something Lucy sees in him and has been wanting,” Harris explained. “She has a small flame inside of her that wants to ignite and burn a little brighter, but she’s resistant, not knowing if George is the one, as he doesn’t come from an aristocratic family. She’s not sure if she should she take a chance on a carefree man who wants her to be free and trust the rest will follow.”

Other cast members include Glenn Seven Allen, Etai BenShlomo, Gina Ferrall, Jacquelynne Fontaine, Will Reynolds, Edward Staudenmayer, Karen Ziemba and Kurt Zischke.

Harris said he was overjoyed with the approach director Scott Schwartz took in rehearsals.

“Scott gives you the canvas and lets you throw paint at it, and then he mixes in his colors and you create a beautiful picture together,” Harris said. “He compromises with the actors and that builds the team of trust so many actors dream of having. Scott wants the individual actor to be a part of these characters and unique and as organic as possible, and that’s such a great place for a piece to start from the ground up.”

Harris said he’s also enamored with Acito and Stock’s work. “Marc has done a great job with the storyline, and the musical score by him and Stock has been breathtaking from our first workshop in New York City. It’s felt like a classic from the very beginning.”

Harris added that the setting in romantic Italy, and the piazza, will transport audiences, “and the score is so gorgeous it really speaks to the heart of these characters, which creates even more passion.”

Harris said Stock shaped the songs to the actors by listening to their voices in the workshop and tailoring the songs to best fit the right key for each actor so no one is reaching for something out of their comfort zone.

“Instead of them fitting the shoe, they are the shoe,” Harris said. “A Room with a View’ is a very lyrical, very underscored masterpiece. It’s funny, heartwarming, and a great show for the entire family.”

If you go

What: “A Room with a View”

Where: The Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park

When: Matinees and evenings through April 8

Tickets: From $39

Box Office: (619) 23-GLOBE