July 20, 2014

When Renée Fleming tweets, she doesn’t confine herself to 140 characters. In the second act of Living on Love, a fun and flimsy entertainment at the Williamstown Theater Festival here, she glides into the room warbling sweetly. “Did I just hear the birds singing?” she asks. Then she looses several more soaring notes. “Oh no,” she says, as if surprised, “that was me.” Ms. Fleming, a renowned soprano in her first role in a play, portrays Raquel, an opera diva whose career is crashing. Raquel frets over her declining powers. “How soon till age renders your instrument unexceptional?” she asks herself. “When will you become a mezzo?” Ms. Fleming pronounces the word “mezzo” in the sort of horrified whisper that most people reserve for “cancer” or “syphilis.” The playwright Joe DiPietro and the director Kathleen Marshall, who worked together on the Broadway musical Nice Work If You Can Get It, have reteamed for this screwball showbiz comedy, an update of Garson Kanin’s 1985 play Peccadillo.