Mom Theatre Blogger: LIVING ON LOVE: Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman
She is starring with Tony Award nominee Douglas Sills, 2-time Emmy Award nominee Anna Chlumsky, Jerry O’Connell, Blake Hammond and Scott Robertson in the new comedy Living on Love by two-time Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro. It is based on the play Peccadillo by Garson Kanin and directed by three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall.
Fleming plays Raquel De Angelis, referred to as Diva, who is married to her maestro husband, Vito, played by Sills. Chlumsky enters the picture as a prissy young publishing exec who is hired to ghostwrite Vito’s autobiography. Diva then decides she would like to publish her life story, so aspiring novelist O’Connell gets hired to chronicle her operatic tale. Both are invited to live in the palatial abode of the stars, so they are readily on hand to get to work. Jealousy ensues, romantic sparks fly, and the play goes off ‘n running.
When Fleming sings, it’s a feast for the ears, and her lavish costumes are a feast for the eyes. The set, featuring an abundance of snow globes — from the couple’s travels — some of which get trashed in a fit of rage — is ornately well-constructed. Though despite the lavish packaging, and the impressive soprano notes of Fleming, the play doesn’t score high comedic notes. Sills works hard, but the portrayal grows as wearisome as his often disheveled hair.
There are some clever lines and references, including Leonard Bernstein envy, but too much schtick for the humor to stick. O’Connell and Chlumsky, while appealing actors (and a bare-chested O’Connell offers some eye candy), play it way too over the top
Hammond and Robertson make for an amusing pair of butlers, and a real scene stealer is Trixie as the pooch Puccini…..adorable….especially in her tiara.
I’m a fan of playwright Joe DiPietro, but he’s not at his finest here.
The creative team includes Derek McLane (Scenic Design), Michael Krass (Costume Design), Peter Kaczorowski (Lighting Design), Scott Lehrer (Sound Design) and Rob Fisher (Music Consultant).
Tickets for Living on Love are available through Telecharge.com, by calling 212-239-6200, and in person at the Longacre Theatre box office (220 West 48th Street, NYC). The show runs through August 2, 2015. Visit www.LivingonLoveBroadway.com
The show runs less than two hours, including intermission.