Love & Money
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Love & Money: Theater review by Helen Shaw
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.
Love & Money orbits Cornelia Cunningham (hardworking Maureen Anderman), a wealthy, old, self-described WASP who’s giving her enormous fortune to charity. Three visitors bicker over the spoils: her lawyer (Joe Paulik), a black man claiming to be her grandson (Gabriel Brown) and a Juilliard student (Kahyun Kim), here to play Cornelia’s player piano. Gurney’s recipe is three parts exposition to one part pandering wheezes about Wall Street and Buffalo, and, to keep the plot moving, no one mentions DNA testing until the badinage is done. Eventually Cunningham turns from talking about money’s evils to the egalitarianism of the theater, but the brief piece doesn’t bother to develop the theme: a sure sign of a play written for a reason other than love.—Helen Shaw
Pershing Square Signature Center (Off Broadway). By A.R. Gurney. Directed by Mark Lamos. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 20mins. No intermission.