See it if you enjoy plays that provide ample food for thought with spectacular sets and costumes.
Don't see it if you prefer musicals. Read more
See it if You want to be entertained and enjoy excellent acting by an extraordinary ensemble and enjoy moderate pacing in story telling.
Don't see it if You want a fast and one dimensional comedy experience. Read more
See it if You enjoy theater history and historical characters, if you are interested in the period when modern theater was about to begin.
Don't see it if You are more interested in music and entertainment than in a more complex plot. Read more
See it if you like old-fashioned theater, highly energized actors, interesting history.
Don't see it if you expect a very comedic production, there are funny moments but it is not a comedy in spite of the clowns.
See it if you love theater history. Italy's leading actress and playwright/lover pressured to improve the play, or producer will go with Ibsen instead
Don't see it if you have no interest in how theater is made. Script is talky but it suits the fine Irish actors. The set is a coup de theatre in itself.
See it if you enjoy shows about theatre and like to laugh at "inside" jokes.
Don't see it if ensemble performances don't appeal to you.
See it if you are interested in play that look at the mechanics of putting on a play, or in late 19th century European culture.
Don't see it if you find plays that examine the business of playmaking too inbred to be of interest except to theater professionals Read more
See it if I liked part 1. It was funny and quirky. Still a work a process but enjoyed the direction it was going in. The set up took a bit long though
Don't see it if You need a polished play with finished edges.
"Cole's ambitious but rambling script is just one of the problems troubling this wobbly production...Over the course of two hours, director Michael Di Jiacomo fails to raise the emotional stakes between Rosa and Gabriele one iota...Part of the blame also lies in the melodramatic, repetitive, cliché-laden dialogue...Thankfully, there are some bright spots. Malone and O'Hara prove somewhat effective clowns...But these moments are not enough to offset 'Imperfect Love's' imperfections."
"Whatever else one might say about 'Imperfect Love,' it looks like a billion lire...The characters are trapped in a script so flaccid and uninvolving as to be beyond repair. It's a marathon talkfest...A little wit would help, but most of playwright Brandon Cole's dialogue reads like a foreign film with badly translated subtitles...Under the direction of Michael Di Jiacomo, the actors consistently opt for the most superficial line reading possible."
"As a celebration of theater and an exploration of how the form absorbs or fails to absorb change, 'Imperfect Love' is diverting. There just isn't a whole lot else going on...The theatrical and romantic squabbles can be entertaining, and it's set at a fascinating moment in theatrical history...Cole just doesn't have much to say about it...Still, if you're partial to theatrical atmosphere and shop talk, you could do a lot worse than this one."
“Don't go expecting to learn about the life and careers of actress Eleonora Duse and poet and playwright Gabriele D'Annunzio who had a passionate nine year affair at the turn of the last century. Although Cole's program note indicates that he has done a great deal of research on these real people and Italian theater of their times, they come off as generic characters with few biographical details. Strangely, the play has had a previous New York production in 2000.”
"Inspired by the relationship between Eleonora Duse and Gabriele D'Annunzio...Cole mines the fields of their passion. He constructs an intriguing comedy in which the strains and jealousies of their relationship collide with their professional company’s well being...Michael Di Jiacomo manages to strike a balance between comedic tones and the irony of actors playing parts that are more about living truth than mannered, overblown performances in an antique style."
"An intriguing picture of the celebrated couple, Eleonora Duse and Gabriele D'Annunzio...While 'Imperfect Love' gives you a fascinating backstage look at the love affair of a famous couple, it has some structural problems...It's a poignant story that captures the competing styles of theater in fin de siècle Italy...Though flawed, 'Imperfect Love' is sensitively directed by Michael Di Jiacomo and finely acted by the entire ensemble...This is a bittersweet valentine."
"Spina shines here as the brightest of stars, the zenith of our theatrical stratosphere...It’s a compelling conflict beautifully researched by Brandon Cole...All of this gorgeous production occurs under the sagacious helm of Michael Di Jiacomo. There is an air of authenticity in the text...However, the rather dizzying conflation of sources sets the actors adrift onstage, sometimes landing with precision, sometimes not. The overall effect is still impressive though."
“Even had Cole called them D'Annunzio and Duse…the play reflects their real identities in only the broadest fashion, offering just a few historical crumbs that those familiar with one or the other person might appreciate…The action rambles along with very few of its attempts at humor hitting their mark. A lugubrious air hovers over the frequent, repetitive squabbling…Too often the play seems to be spinning its wheels, with frequently plodding dialogue unrelieved by wit.”