Imperfect Love
East Village
68

Imperfect Love NYC Reviews and Tickets

68%
(30 Reviews)
Positive
57%
Mixed
36%
Negative
7%
Members say
Slow, Great acting, Great staging, Funny, Entertaining

About the Show

A story of love and betrayal, set just over 100 years ago, between an actress  and her playwright lover. Inspired by the real-life relationship between the great Eleanora Duse and the poet D’Annunzio.

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Member Reviews (30)

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100
Absorbing, Exquisite, Must see, Refreshing, Artful

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

100
Epic, Great acting, Masterful, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

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

Critic Reviews (13)

February 4th, 2018

"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."
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February 5th, 2018

"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."
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February 4th, 2018

"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."
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February 7th, 2018

“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.”
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February 6th, 2018

"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."
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February 4th, 2018

"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."
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February 4th, 2018

"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."
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February 4th, 2018

“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.”
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W
February 5th, 2018

"There are so many seamless crossovers of life and script as the 1899 cast tries to repair a poorly reviewed play while salving the relationship of its principals, worlds meld. Rather than being confusing or irritating, the approach adds intriguing layers to most every speech...Cole's eloquent, often poetic script eventually ties unruly loose ends in a satin bow...Except for letting Lopresti get away with poor semblance, Director Di Jiacomo does a wonderful job."
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T
February 4th, 2018

"A rather unfortunate imperfect storm of inconsistent acting, a mind-boggling plot, confusing dialogue, and confounding direction...Jiacomo is unable to rein in the random feel of it all...Malone is fun to watch, but Lopresti and Spina lack any sort of chemistry, so the central romance feels flat and dull, zapping any energy from the play."
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February 8th, 2018

"All these elements make for a rich subject for a play, but this production of 'Imperfect Love' feels presentational, inert, and underpopulated...The actors here are all in their own worlds, not listening to one another closely enough, and they play too often on one note without change or variation. Sometimes the writing can be monotone as well...This production conveys that momentous event — as with most of the occurrences it depicts — in a stiff and unconvincing manner."
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February 4th, 2018

"Interestingly, this protracted struggle, focusing the action almost entirely on the matter of finding a better way to end the play, slows the play down in a good way. It allows for the audience’s total immersion into the time and place, the emotions, intentions, and motivations...Slow and steady is visibly, audibly, and viscerally apparent in the creative interpretation...The production works on many levels...A labor of creative love."
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J
February 8th, 2018

"Its references to classical Italian theater, as in commedia de l’arte, are recognized in its clown-servant characters...The key to a Pierrot character, that is, sad clowns in general, is they are sad when they should be happy. This makes the character endearing...There’s a comedy from the contradiction, but also potentially tragedy...An excellent production based on an excellent play...not to be missed!"
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