Already closed | 1h 30m | East Village

About Love

From 45 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Enchanting, Romantic, Absorbing, Entertaining

About the show

Based on Ivan Turgenev's short story, this new play with songs and music tells the story of a young man, whose summer in the Russian countryside changes everything. More…

From the show:

A young man expects to spend a quiet summer with his parents in the Russian countryside, but soon discovers those three months will be most consequential of his life, as he learns the difference between love and passion, and the ephemeral nature of life itself.

About Love is a new play with songs and music, based on the exquisite short story, “First Love,” by Ivan Turgenev. Featuring a haunting jazz score by Nancy Harrow and a versatile cast of six playing eighteen characters, all within a bold, theatrical staging by Will Pomerantz, About Love promises to be a unique theatrical event.

Best known for his novel Fathers and Sons, and his play, A Month in the Country, Ivan Turgenev was one of the first Russian writers to achieve international fame. About Love is a fresh re-telling of one of his most memorable stories.


Member Reviews (45)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Enchanting, Romantic, Absorbing, Entertaining
80
Avg Score

89
Poignant, Well staged, Strong acting/singing, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if you like coming-of-age stories. Joys/woes of 1st love. Gr perfs fr 2 leads. Clever adaptn. Modern songs underscore timeless emotions. Go see

Don't see it if you only like political focus; this is ABOUT LOVE (tho social status matters). Untradl story-telling. Gr band. Effective barebones set/costu

92
Enchanting, Great writing, Absorbing, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy great storytelling. This is an engrossing story, made even more enjoyable with the addition of music. Great acting/costumes.

Don't see it if You don’t like bare bones staging. Six actors playing multiple roles and using mostly only an assortment of chairs for a set.

Also I loved this show. Masterful storytelling. Enough twists to the plot t... Read more Read less

82
Entertaining, Exquisite, Clever, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if If you like Russia stories [ literature]. Well acted and each has multiple roles. A play of awakening.

Don't see it if If you do not like a time piece that takes you on a journey. Russian literature. Bare bones staging.

85
Tender, Touching, Romantic, Lovely, Wistful

See it if 16 y.o. boy falls for 21 y.o. beauty surrounded by suitors in 19th c. Russia. Ecstatic highs & lows. Wonderful direction, acting & music.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in a surprising romantic tale that will evoke memories of your first love. Alternates use of narrative & dialog.

Also This artistic, understated play conveys depth of feeling without the a... Read more Read less

85
Enchanting, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if u want a charming (& tragic), well-acted, simply (but effectively) staged, uniquely told memory play about the joy & anguish of first love.

Don't see it if you will be as bothered as I was by a jazz score to accompany a 19th C Russian drama.

Also I actually liked Nancy Harrow's original score, but the style was comp... Read more Read less

82
Engaging lead player, Strong ensemble cast, Great story, Handsome, Accomplished

See it if you love Russian lit or great writing & are OK with the Story Theater genre.

Don't see it if you want to see a play, as distinct from a story told onstage.

Also This staged telling of Turgenev’s story “About Love” is about as accom... Read more Read less

84
Delightful, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Romantic

See it if you enjoy a story well-told by an energetic, small cast, many speaking for the main character, occasionally bursting into song w/a good band

Don't see it if you want full staging - here clever use of minimal staging and props, some just motions, don't fail to enhance the story. Hard seats up frnt

87
Enchanting, Magical evening, Romantic singing, Charming performers, Surprising structure

See it if you feel like you need a vacation in a foreign place where romance suggests improbable possibilities that may never come again.

Don't see it if Russian class issues irritate you. Youthful romance depresses you. Small casts doubling & tripling confuse you.

70
Story theater frame doesn't quite work, Disappointing, Tonal shifts throughout, Slow

See it if You love Russian lit and want a staged "novella" with characters narrating the book while playing multiple roles. Not for everyone.

Don't see it if Don't want fiction w play w music mashup. Kate Hamill-lite staging, jazz, bare-bones set only bored me, but delighted maj of audience.

Also Clearly, I'm in the minority here but this never gelled for me. The ch... Read more Read less

82
Well sung, Well staged, Romantic, Slow, Charming

See it if interested in adaptation of Turgenev's First Love with jazzy musical score; has charm, plot twists,manipulative female leading on young man.

Don't see it if impatient. Takes a while to get in gear. Gets more interesting as it progresses.

55
Overrated, Creative score, Poor book, Dated, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy boy not maturing stories of obsession

Don't see it if you believe stories about a woman's whordom and boy blinded by an infatuation should not be on stage, unless nonfictional, in 2020.

Also Will Pomerantz tries to make this an everyman story by having every ch... Read more Read less

69
Bad romance

See it if Smitten boy does stupid things for a manipulative woman he's into. She makes him and 4 others do things for her but they don't seem to mind.

Don't see it if Problematic notion of romance/love: falling for manipulative people and coming out of it still feeling smitten 🤮 1 hour 45 minutes no inter

Also Diversity: not. All White cast, story of rich people.... Read more Read less

87
Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging, Great singing

See it if Beautifully told story of a 16 year old boy’s awakening of love, awareness and family betrayal. Stylish music with hypnotic voices.

Don't see it if Russian vintage story are not your kind of show.

79
More storytelling than play, Romantic, Quirky, Intelligent

See it if you like storytelling;like jazz;want to see something new & interesting,but based on a classic novella; want to see some NY acting debuts

Don't see it if you dislike storytelling w/as much narration as dialogue w/ multiple characters serving as narrators; find jazz & Russian folk music jarring

Also I enjoyed this, but it's more storytelling than play. I disliked the u... Read more Read less

65
Nice music, Some good performances, Boring, Slow

See it if you like adaptations of Russian stories. Like small intimate shows. OK with multiple actors reading main character's lines.

Don't see it if I honestly don't understand the raves for this show. I just didn't connect to it and found it hard to stay engaged. Very slow moving.

85
Brechtian, Great staging, Resonant, Enchanting, Romantic

See it if You enjoy the idea of Russian lit mixed with Spring Awakening with a jazz score rather than indie-rock. You enjoy Brechtian plays.

Don't see it if You dislike plays that have a layer of artifice over the events. Don't care for jazz.

Also "In youth my wings were strong and tireless, ... Read more Read less

86
Fine acting, Well-directed, Poignant, Entertaining, Charming

See it if you like vintage Russian family in the country tales (i.e. Chekov) about a young man coming-of-age, finding his "ideals' are quite flawed

Don't see it if you're looking for something heavy & intellectual; object to incongruous musical genres ( torch song, musical theater songs) in the story

Also I really liked this play a lot; I found it absorbing, well-played & ch... Read more Read less

84
Just lovely, Romantic, Entertaining, Delightful, Enchanting

See it if You want to see a fresh new play done in a unique way - keeping the tenor of the underlying Russian story. The male lead is excellent!

Don't see it if You want anything 'big'. You don't like Russian [themed] plays.

Also This was truly a lovely night out at the theater - nothing big, just b... Read more Read less

80
Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if a good old fashion love story with music...good acting and great staging.

Don't see it if if you want something more musical.

73
Slow, Enchanting, Disappointing, Great acting, Good story telling

See it if U like good story telling and a fine ensemble cast in a play that has a difficult premise to get behind or find plausible.

Don't see it if U don’t like small stage productions, want a story that is at least plausible or prefer traditional musicals.

71
Polished, Literary, Great acting, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You would enjoy a well-executed adaptation of a Russian novella with occasional musical interludes.

Don't see it if Like me, you are not a fan of third person narration in a play. The six actors take turns narrating the plot. Songs are short and few.

Also I can understand the good reviews About Love has gotten on Show-Score,... Read more Read less

90
Great singing, Great acting, Delightful, Enchanting, Clever

See it if It's almost a fairy tale. Everyone in it impresses. The staging is minimal but effective, the story is great, the music suits the plot.

Don't see it if It's not wholly happy, but it's a Russian story, so you knew that, right? You should see this; it's remarkably good.

80
Clever, Ambitious, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if Interesting play about about a young man's first love with multiple characters portraying the young man as well. The play includes some song

Don't see it if And dance with four musicians. Don't see it if you prefer a full Broadway production. The play is based on Ivan Turgenev's First Love.

62
Slow, Insipid, Great singing, Banal

See it if You are a fan of Russian literature, or tragic love stories.

Don't see it if You are expecting a musical or a play. It’s unsatisfying as either. If you want something that holds your attention.

Also The story is interesting and had potential for a powerful piece. It re... Read more Read less

85
Riveting, Exquisite, Must see, Absorbing

See it if good simple professional literate adaptation of great story. good music, good acting, good singing, good adaptation.

Don't see it if perhaps a little too busy, a little too much movement for its own sake. don't expect a musical, don't expect a full production.


March 5th, 2020
"About Love Is Actually About Power and Blinkered Notions of Masculinity: Ivan Turgenev's First Love receives a new stage adaptation"
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March 5th, 2020
"I can't speak to the wisdom of musicalizing 'First Love' because the people behind 'About Love' haven't really done the job…you could remove them from the production with no material difference in the storytelling."
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March 4th, 2020
"'About Love' is a rewarding and melancholy theatrical experience as it taps into the folly and heartbreak associated with first love. Additionally, the play makes a compelling case for reevaluating Turgenev's contributions to world literature."
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March 12th, 2020
"The lovely show is best described as story theater in which all of the characters narrate at one time or another...and all but the hero and heroine play multiple roles. If one is looking for a musical, this is not it but it eventually is a captivating staging of the story, if a bit on the long s...
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Cast & Creatives (4)