To memorialize one’s life and career in a best selling memoir is a lofty goal. If you are a wildly successful music conductor known as “El Maestro,” then it is simply your due. When you get an advance of $50,000 to pen your golden mots with a ghost writer, you should be sufficiently motivated to respect writing schedules and chapter deadlines. Unless, of course, you can’t be bothered to dictate more than a dozen words a day, causing the publishing company to demand the advance be returned or threaten to sue for double the damages.
To become intimately acquainted with Vito DeAngelis known to his legions of fans as El Maestro, skip over to Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury for the Connecticut premiere of Joe DiPietro’s comic “Living on Love” until Sunday, December 6.To date, Vito has fired seven ghost writers whom he dismisses and denigrates as “spooky helpers,” a record that Donald Trump would later emulate and admire. Vito’s wife, the world famous opera singer Raquel, “La Diva,” has been under his Machiavellian spell for thirty years, tolerating his too frequent liaisons with impressionable young ladies. Using the music to Bolero as his tool of seduction, he feels it is his right and obligation to share his macho gifts to those worthy of receiving them.Steve Vinovich is masterful as the egocentric Vito, a man who is secure in his talents and achievements…until the name Leonard Bernstein is uttered. To him, his Raquel is “beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Wow!” but he doesn’t truly appreciate her many virtues.Stephanie Zimbalist is dynamic as the glorious opera diva who has known great successes from the Met to Milan. Unfortunately, she is threatened by dwindling attendance and the mere mention of the younger rival Maria Callas. The pair delightfully bicker and spar, especially when two ghost writers Robert (Alex Grossman) and Iris (Ali Breneman) arrive to record their immortal words for posterity. Meanwhile the DeAngelis’s trusty butlers, R. Bruce Connelly and Michael Irvin Pollard, add a delightful comic touch in everything they present and remove.James Glossman directs this highly entertaining comedy, one that borders on farce, as easily as a snow globe can be shaken and admired. Daniel Hosvar has created a lovely Manhattan apartment set, circa 1957, to hold the romantic fun.For tickets ($39-57), call Seven Angels Theatre, now in its 25th year, 1 Plank Road, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at www.sevenangelstheatre.org. Performances are Thursday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., with no show Thanksgiving day.Enjoy snippets of arias, courtesy of Ms. Zimbalist’s Raquel, with a drizzle of maple syrup or olive oil, as Vito and Raquel compete to see who writes the first and best fictional account of their fascinating lives.