Living on Love BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • NY TIMES

  • HR

  • VARIETY

  • TIME OUT

  • NBC

Opening Night:
April 20, 2015
Closing:
May 3, 2015

Theater: Longacre Theatre / 220 West 48th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Living on Love tells the story of celebrated diva Raquel DeAngelis. When her husband, the fiery and egomaniacal Maestro Vito DeAngelis, becomes enamored with the lovely young lady hired to ghostwrite his long-delayed autobiography, Rachel retaliates by hiring her very own—and very handsome—ghostwriter to chronicle her life as an opera star. Sparks fly, silverware is thrown, and romance blossoms.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Living on Love

    Renée Fleming Plays Against Type in ‘Living on Love’

    Ben Brantley

    April 20, 2015: Making her Broadway debut in “Living on Love,” the lumpy little comedy that opened on Monday night at the Longacre Theater, Renée Fleming seems like far too nice a woman to be playing a diva. That sounds irrational, I know, since Ms. Fleming, the great soprano, is one of the most celebrated opera stars in the world. But “diva,” in that case, is a job description and a tribute to the professional heights to which Ms. Fleming has ascended. In “Living on Love,” which is written by Joe DiPietro and directed by Kathleen Marshall, Ms. Fleming is required to be a diva in the more pejorative sense, as when you call somebody out for melodramatic or selfish behavior by saying, “Oh, don’t be such a diva.” Raquel De Angelis, the opera star portrayed here by Ms. Fleming, is such a diva and then some — a capricious, tantrum-throwing egomaniac who doesn’t even step into her own living room without making sure she has the proper lighting, entrance music and drop-dead outfit. Ms. Fleming, who knows from ball gowns, wears such attire with grace. The accompanying attitude, however, isn’t a natural fit. And when someone says Raquel reminds him of Eleanor Roosevelt (albeit a beautiful and sensual version of that redoubtable first lady), the description isn’t as incongruous as intended.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Living on Love

    Renée Fleming and Douglas Sills play married classical music stars sparring over rival memoirs in Joe DiPietro's comedy

    David Rooney

    April 20, 2015: The acronym used in theater chatrooms to discuss the unlikely Broadway entry "Living on Love" is the same as the 21st century shorthand for hilarity: LOL. But there's nothing contemporary and too little that's consistently funny about playwright Joe DiPietro's refried serving of "Peccadillo," a minor Garson Kanin comedy from 1985. First seen at the Williamstown Theatre Festival last summer, the new version does have a thoroughbred casting coup in its favor, which is the sporting turn of celebrated lyric soprano Renée Fleming as fading opera diva Raquel De Angelis. But when Raquel is not onstage trilling with vainglorious self-adulation and encroaching terror of her professional decline, the fizz quickly evaporates. "Did I just hear the birds singing?" wonders Raquel as she glides into the room accompanied by her own airborne ribbon of "la-la-la's." "Oh no, that was me!" Her giddy delight in her gifts requires no external endorsements, and her lothario husband of 30 years, Italian classical conductor Vito (Douglas Sills), is mostly too intoxicated by his own talent and charms to supply them. But Raquel finds an adoring fan in Robert Samson (Jerry O'Connell), the latest in a series of ghostwriters hired by Vito's publisher to work on his memoir, "Call Me Maestro," before being customarily fired by the uncooperative subject.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Living on Love

    Broadway Review ‘Living on Love’

    Marilyn Stasio

    April 20, 2015: Renee Fleming is an illustrious opera star who has sung more than 50 leading roles in the world’s great opera houses. The diva is also a jolly good sport for her enthusiastic send-up of diva-dom in Broadway’s “Living on Love.” Joe DiPietro’s comedy is an airy adaptation of “Peccadillo,” Garson Kanin’s 1985 spoof of a famed soprano and her temperamental husband (call him “Maestro”) played by Douglas Sills, who separately hire ghost writers (a boy for her, a girl for him) to pen their memoirs. They’re a fun couple, and Kathleen Marshall helms this lightweight material with a properly playful touch. “She sings all the time!” Vito (“Maestro”) De Angelis (Sills, loving his tempestuous character) complains of his wife, the beloved opera star Raquel De Angelis played by the beloved opera star Fleming. Madame always makes her entrances singing, because indeed, Madame does sing all the time — beautifully. Someone mention Aida? Diva sweeps into the living room to the strains of “The Triumphal March.” A passing reference to “La Boheme”? “Si, mi chiamano Mimi” comes wafting out of the bedroom. And if someone should put a record on the turntable, don’t be surprised to hear Diva singing “Vissi d’Arte” from “Tosca.” “Did I just hear the birds singing?” she playfully asks of her admiring (or weary) audience. “Oh, no — that was me!”

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Living on Love

    'Living on Love' Theater review

    Adam Feldman

    April 20, 2015: Before she makes him smear olive oil on his naked chest while she acts out a scene from "La Bohème," aging opera diva Raquel—played by renowned soprano Renée Fleming, in her Broadway debut—asks a destitute young writer to “act” like he’s a destitute writer, which he proceeds to do very badly. Being is not the same as acting, and this lesson is illustrated by Fleming herself throughout Joe DiPietro’s lousy new comedy, "Living on Love." She’s a great star giving a mediocre performance as a great star.

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  • NBC NEW YORK REVIEW OF Living on Love

    Renée Fleming Hits a High Note with "Living on Love"

    Robert Kahn

    April 20, 2015: A little knowledge of opera helps, but it’s not key to admiring the frothy and fizzy “Living on Love,” in which soprano Renée Fleming makes her Broadway debut -- you’re apt to enjoy the celebrated diva in this send-up of celebrated divas, even if the in-jokes about Maria Callas pass you by. Set in a luxurious Manhattan penthouse, “Living on Live” (it’s by “Memphis” writer Joe DiPietro, from an earlier play by Garson Kanin) first introduces us to temperamental maestro Vito De Angelis (Douglas Sills), who is under pressure to finish his memoirs. Vito has alienated every ghostwriter the publishing house has sent, and he’s about to give the heave-ho to the latest, an uptight opera fanboy (Jerry O’Connell). Out of the blue, Vito’s opera-singer wife Raquel (cue Ms. Fleming!) returns early from a tour, just as the publisher sends an ambitious editor (Anna Chlumsky) to retrieve its $50,000 advance from Vito. In short order, Chlumsky, as Iris Peabody, is somehow working on the maestro’s book, while O’Connell, as Robert Samson, has been pressed into service on a competing memoir for Raquel. For the senior duo, married 30 years, it’s not just a race to the top of the best-seller list—it’s a chance to test their rusty powers of seduction.

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