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Love and Money

From 22 critic and 16 member reviews
Members say: Disappointing, Cliched, Banal, Dated, Slow

About the show

Signature Theatre presents a world premiere comedy by A.R. Gurney about a wealthy widow who is determined to donate almost everything she owns, until her plan hits a snag. More…

Cornelia Cunningham has led a life of grace and privilege—and she’s making up for it as fast as she can. Determined to donate almost everything she owns before the end, Cornelia’s plans are questioned when an ambitious and ingratiating young man, who may be the grandson she never knew she had, arrives to claim his inheritance.


"It is a buoyant comedy that also contains some startlingly shrewd observations about wealth, the nature of trust, and the prospect of aging with dignity...Gurney's text teems with sparkling bons mots...It's a testament to Gurney's mastery of craft that he is able to ground his over-the-top comedy in a palpable truth...Ultimately, we're all at the theater to have a good time, which you definitely will with 'Love and Money.'" Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"There is an audience for this kind of play...In conversations overheard afterwards, it was clear the play provoked nostalgia and general enjoyment...The story is ordinary, the characters are stock, and the dialogue is chock full of references to a bygone era. If you’re expecting this piano to hit all the old notes, to play the familiar standards so faithfully that you can sing along, and to sound just like you’ve always remembered, you’ve sat on the right bench." Full Review

On Stage Blog

"It is not a life-changing theatre experience, neither is it the last word in theatrical social-philosophy, but it is also distinctly non-tiresome. The play moves by at a spry trot, never losing focus or letting the audience fall asleep. Gurney’s writing is humorous and lightly playful, while also lending itself to moments of real vulnerability. The cast are fun, on-the-ball and hard-working. If you want an enjoyable, light visit to the theatre, then you can do a lot worse than ‘Love and Mone... Full Review

Stage Buddy

"Themes of race, class, consumerism and culture unfold in the delightful new comedy 'Love & Money,' by legendary playwright A.R. Gurney...'Love & Money' is ultimately about one person at the end of her life, wanting a life of simplicity, and another at the beginning of his life, consumed with the desire for so much more." Full Review

New York Theater

“'Love and Money,' A.R. Gurney’s latest comedy about WASPs, is as deep as dust, and no more solid, but as dust goes, it’s a fine light powder, ground by a craftsman who’s been at it for some four decades, and it’s more likely to tickle than to irritate...Gurney could also easily be accused of handling the issue of race too glibly...Yet if 'Love and Money' is trivial, it is also convivial." Full Review


"If the plot of A.R. Gurney's newest seems more than vaguely familiar, that point is eventually fully acknowledged by the playwright...Perhaps some further tinkering can resolve its problems. At this point, while certainly flawed, the lightly philosophical comedy can provide a pleasing, if not totally satisfying time." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"There's plenty of fun to be had here, though none of it really coheres. At once overwrought and underdeveloped, the play feels like a much longer piece that's been cut down to appetizer size, as if to hit the Big Points efficiently and not worry to much about anything else. Director Mark Lamos has arranged things decently, but can't overcome these basic deficiencies; his staging has the feeling of pushing pieces around without ever explaining why." Full Review

The New York Times

The director, Mark Lamos, hasn’t elicited performances that might give the relationship between Cornelia and Walker the intriguing emotional undertow suggested in the script...Were we to see something more dark and urgent in his mission, the play would cut a little deeper. Mr. Gurney springs a few surprises, some more plausible than others." Full Review

American Theater Web

"A 75-minute theatrical bonbon that meditates on the allure, advantages, and disadvantages of wealth...Given Cornelia’s beliefs about money, it’s rough to not wish that there were a bit more darkness in her performance, but perhaps Gurney’s play couldn’t support that sort of gravitas...A lighthearted lark of a play." Full Review

Zander Opper

"This play can hardly be considered a major work, but, for what it is, it is a mildly enjoyable lark, if you don’t go in expecting anything more than that. Filled with Cole Porter tunes, a talented group of actors, and a few good laughs,'Love & Money' is pretty slight, but it remains pleasant enough throughout." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"'Love & Money, a slight, formulaic comedy, briskly staged by Mark Lamos, has arrived...In its conventional plotting, cardboard characters, and overall sense of artificiality, it too closely takes the advice of a Cole Porter song performed midway through, 'Make It Another Old Fashioned, Please.'" Full Review

New York Post

"'Love & Money' runs just 85 minutes and still seems padded. The latest by A.R. Gurney is a trifle of a show, a soufflé that collapses as soon as you start thinking about the plot’s holes. And that moment comes pretty early on...Mark Lamos’ production goes down easy, but it’s also nutrient-free and meandering." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"A dramatist who often pulls back from the more shadowy implications of his plots, Gurney withdraws from those here so forcibly that patrons may experience a mild form of whiplash. In the end, the comedy (?) is a minor trifle. Your enjoyment of it will hinge on how fond of trifles you are. 'Love & Money' is so mildly amusing as it passes that I'm writing this review as fast as I can so that even more of it won't fade from my memory before I finish." Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

"Though it attempts to throw darts at the American dream gone wrong, it succeeds only in giving us a boulevard comedy that manages to bring some relief from summer’s heat, but which by no means quenches our thirst for more...As language is fast disappearing from our everyday life, Mr. Gurney is always welcome and refreshing. It has its moments, but it needs work." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

"This affectionate, altogether too predictable evening, directed gracefully by Mark Lamos, is designed as Gurney’s leave-taking, too...Gurney is acutely aware that he is dredging up material he’s mined many times...But the set-up doesn't have much life left in it, even ironically. I have loved the privileged world of A.R. Gurney, but unlike Cornelia I am not wistful about seeing it go." Full Review

Reflections in the Light

"Three weeks of 'previews' at Westport did not improve a play that has not progressed much beyond a draft...Is there a finished play in here somewhere? I won’t give spoilers, but the answer to that question is 'no.' There is no rhyme or reason for any of the plot...The whole thing is totally unbelievable and the script has the feel of a draft with some good ideas that just haven’t been threshed out." Full Review


"The plot devised by Gurney turns creaky...The first 20 minutes of 'Love & Money' reminds you of one of the weighty comedies of George Bernard Shaw; the dialogue is laced with laugh-provoking wit, and reveals a conflict that holds the promise of exploring a classic dilemma. Unfortunately, the play fails to deliver on that early promise." Full Review

Time Out New York

"A. R. Gurney’s dead-behind-the-eyes comedy 'Love & Money' reveals the one downside of Signature’s Playwrights-in-Residence program: the pressure, on both sides, to produce. Gurney, of course, has skill, but asking him for a world premiere seems to have caught him uninspired. The play fills out the season, but no more." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"One suspects a younger Gurney would have taken the time to iron out the play’s many inconsistencies and sloppy plot points...It seems odd that Gurney would practically steal this plotline from John Guare’s 'Six Degrees of Separation,' and do it so baldly and badly...Sadly, 'Love & Money' really needed some more time out of town before hitting the Big Apple." Full Review


"'Love and Money' proves to be a major disappointment...He ends the play with a more than happy ending that meets nearly everyone’s needs in spectacular ways—and is at heart quite unrealistic...It is sadly just too derivative and unimaginative to provide a satisfactory theatrical experience." Full Review

New York Daily News

"This unfocused and unfunny comedy has none of the wit, insight and clarity of Gurney’s better works...Unbelievable characters and an unclear message about class, culture and legacies are major liabilities as the play lurches toward a conclusion. The acting is so-so at best. The script gives director Mark Lamos little to work with. At just 75 minutes, the show strains patience, credulity and goodwill." Full Review

New York Theatre Guide

"Sophomoric. That is the word for this play. 'Love & Money' has so many holes in the plot that it seems more like a frivolous writing exercise created on a rainy afternoon than anything that should be taken seriously...Why this play is being produced, when there are boatloads of good plays out there pining away for a friendly nod, is a mystery. And a waste of precious time." Full Review

Clever, Funny

See it if some really funny moments

Don't see it if you're looking for something more thought provoking

Disappointing, Dated, Great acting, Indulgent

See it if If you like A.R. Gurney (which I do), but this was not one of his best. The acting and set were great but the story was predictable.

Don't see it if you don't like dramas about rich people and their troubles.

Cliched, Thought-provoking, Familiar, Improbable, Intelligent

See it if the issue of class distinction resonates and you like the work of A.R. Gurney

Don't see it if you're expecting a deep examination of love or money.

Banal, Delightful

See it if you're in the mood for something light and mildly entertaining.

Don't see it if you want something heavy or thought provoking.

Cliched, Light, Noel-coward-ish, Unsurprising, Inoffensive

See it if You want a peek into WASP manners and mores, and enjoy drawing-room farce-like fare

Don't see it if You are bored by first-world problems or stereotypical characters, or need to care about the emotional or other "stakes" in a story

Banal, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if For Gurney completists, but not a good introduction to his work for those unfamiliar with his other, better plays. Decent acting, nice set.

Don't see it if It feels underdeveloped; a slight idea that isn't worked out in an interesting way.

Funny, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if An interesting and worthy theme about family,inheritance, and philanthropy but treated too superficially and not profound.

Don't see it if you are looking for a more serious approach to what is really a provocative theme.

Slow, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if You like A.R. Gurney plays and are curious about this one. However, it's pretty predictable.

Don't see it if You like good acting.

Disappointing, Insipid, Slow, Relevant, Cliched

See it if You want to see every AR Gurney play written.

Don't see it if You're looking for one of Gurney's substantive investigations into classic Americana.

Banal, Cliched, Dated, Disappointing

See it if like family dramas about inheritance and like Gurney's plays.

Don't see it if you want to see a well-written, well-actied drama.

Weak script, Great set, Well staged/acted, Pointless, Disappointing

See it if you love AR Gurney. I found the script insipid. No profound discussions about either love or money. The plot device fizzles. Nice set.

Don't see it if you require intelligent, insightful theater. Lamos made the most of what's there, but it was far too little! Don't know why this was revived

Also I'm catching up on old reviews. L&M baffled me. So much effort was put... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Excruciating, Intense, Slow, Racist

See it if you can let racist overtones go.

Don't see it if you can't let racist overtones go.


See it if u enjoy A.R. Gurney's plays, respect Signature Theatre and appreciate quality production values. +Cole Porter songs -- but they're filler.

Don't see it if This play seems to have been rushed into production. It starts off delightfully, but resolves too quickly and not at all effectively.

Disappointing, Insipid, Cliched, Banal, Overrated

See it if You want to see anything A.R. Gurney writes. (But this is definitely a strange one!) You like your plays SHORT.

Don't see it if You like to see plots that make sense.

Cliched, Dated, Disappointing

See it if You want to see all of Gurney's oeuvre regardless of quality

Don't see it if You want to preserve your inner positive sense of Gurney and not see a play he apparently wrote that is derivative of his own best work

Banal, Dated, Disappointing

See it if U want to be bored

Don't see it if U hate wasting yr time

Cast & Creatives (12)