TR Robertson …. Any mark of a good play is based on the performance of the actors. There is no doubt that the actors performing in Broadway Vista’s newest play, “Living on Love” are not only good, but they are having a really good time on stage. San Diego’s Biggest Little Live Theatre is currently staging Tony Award winning playwright Joe DePietro’s, “Living on Love”. DiPietro won a 2010 Tony for Best Musical for “Memphis” and produced “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” which ran for 12 years Off-Broadway.
The Broadway Vista production of “Living On Love”, featured award winning co-owner Randall Hickman as Maestro Vito, a pompous, womanizing Italian concert conductor, who hates Leonard Bernstein with a passion, and is now a little down on his luck, but with the task of trying to complete his auto-biography. Hickman is hilarious as the Maestro, complete with over-the-top bombasity, a great take on an Italian accent and you can tell he is having a lot of fun with this character. Playing his wife, Raquel la Diva, is Erica Rosa, who is an aging opera Diva, with an equally high opinion of herself. Diva has had enough of Maestro’s womanizing and feels it is her turn to also have an auto-biography written about her life. Rosa is a trained opera singer as her occasional out bursts show, but at the same time she humorously presents the eccentricities of La Diva. Rosa’s (Diva’s) entrances are over the top. Her forgetfulness of her ghost writers name and her expressions of romantic interests toward the ghost writer are very funny.
Playing the confused, conflicted, over-matched ghost writers are Lindsey Denham as Iris and Gabriel Macedo as Robert. Denham is returning to Broadway Vista after appearing in “Noises Off”. Her enthusiastic portrayal of Iris, an employee at the firm publishing the auto-biography of Maestro and a young lady trying to make a name for herself with the firm, works perfectly with Maestro and his romantic interest. Macedo, as Robert, is the quintessential lost soul, a man who hasn’t developed a back bone yet, a man who has no clue on how to act around a woman and a man searching for his own identity. At one point we find out he wants to write The Great American Novel, entitled The Great American Novel, and has written 938 pages of the book. His lost soul plays perfectly with Diva’s intentions on getting back at her husband. These four on stage could not have been any better in the role they were cast. The action on stage was funny and you had to listen carefully for all of the little under the breath comments. One such comment comes from Diva and Maestro when we learn they have been married 35 years with no children because they forgot to have children.
Equally funny are the butlers for Diva and Maestro, Torre Younghans as Bruce and Broadway Vista co-owner Douglas Davis as Eric.
Younghans is a Broadway Vista regular, recently performing a return engagement in “On Golden Pond”. He and Davis appear through two side doors when the bell rings and always have an interesting exit through these same doors. Younghans facial expressions at the exit are not to be missed. As Bruce explains things to Robert and Iris, Eric always follows with, “There’s nothing anyone can do about it”. It becomes such a part of the play, the audience, in Act II begins to quote the line along with him. Bruce and Eric also tidy up and change the set between scenes in a smooth, orchestrated manner.
Will Diva and Maestro get their revenge, Will they become romantically involved with the young ghost writers, Will Diva and Maestro make a comeback or will they have to return the monetary advance they have received, Will Robert break one of the many snow globes that are a part of Diva and Maestro’s past? To answer these, see the play and I guarantee you will have a good time.
“Living on Love” will be playing at Broadway Vista until November 26th. The Holiday play for Broadway Vista will be “The Rented Christmas” beginning on November 30th – can you rent what you need for Christmas to take part in the holiday spirit?
You should be reminded to bring some cash with you to take part in the exciting Opportunity Drawing at intermission. This funny raffle is a popular part of each and every performance, run by Douglas Davis. Some of the wonderful prizes folks won the night I attended included a bag of chocolate mints, a bucket of popcorn to pop and an obscure Jimmy Fallon/Drew Barrymore movie, a tacky Thanksgiving Day sign and a solar powered dancing turkey globe. You never know when will be available for gifts. Also complimentary cookies, coffee, tea and water available at intermission.