A serious comedy inspired by the tumultuous life of Eleonora Duse and her poet-lover Gabriele D’Annunzio.
Sunday, February 18th only!
IMPERFECT LOVE is a story of love and betrayal, set just over 100 years ago, between the actress Eleonora Della Rosa, and her playwright lover Gabriele Torrisi. (Inspired by the real-life relationship between the great Eleanora Duse and the poet D’Annunzio). It’s a story set at the turning of an epoch, and the turning of two styles of theater: the more visceral and emotional style that Eleonora and Torrisi are exemplars of, and the ‘new’ psychological style epitomized by Nordic writers like Ibsen and Strindberg. Our characters Eleonora and Torrisi are both vulnerable and aware that their day may have passed, and along with it, their love. Should Torrisi abandon Eleonora and strike out for a collaboration with her arch-rival, the Parisian Sarah Bernhardt? Should Eleonora withdraw her support (and love?) from the possibly outmoded Torrisi and try to work with up-and-coming Ibsen? In the middle of all this is the classically trained leading-man Domenica, who doesn’t know which way to turn in his professional life, or in the tangled world of his emotional allegiances. One other delight of the play is how the traditional clowns Beppo and Marco not only comment on the action in a comical and human way, but how they themselves also embody the conflicting epochs – the rambunctious farce of the Commedia dell’Arte, set against a premonition, a whiff of the bold futurism of a Beckett or a Pirandello, a modernism that will eventually make all earlier styles redundant. In the end, matters of theater and matters of the heart come together in a climax both affirming and bitter-sweet. The play’s the thing. At least, until the curtain falls.
220 EAST FOURTH STREET | NEW YORK CITY
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