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Nobody Loves You

Heath Calvert as Byron (bottom) with Lauren Molina, Kate Morgan Chadwick, Jenni Barber and Kelsey Kurz in the World Premiere musical Nobody Loves You, with music and lyrics by Gaby Alter and book and lyrics by Itamar Moses, directed by Michelle Tattenbaum, May 9 - June 17, 2012 at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

Nobody Loves You, a new musical comedy now getting it’s World Premiere at The Old Globe, may come off like Glee meets Big Bang Theory meets a trashy hetero couple reality show, but underneath it all, it’s a pretty good show.

Reality television, as we can all attest, has taken over and all but squashed the sitcom, the hour-long drama and most of what television used to be. Sure it’s fun to watch people, who have signed their lives away, unravel on national television. Or is it?

Our emotions are played like a fine concerto with the way these producers edit and finagle their casts to give us what we want to see, and that’s exactly what Nobody Loves You spoofs, in a sense.

Writers Gaby Alter (Band Geeks, Young Zombies In Love) and Itmar Moses (Completeness, Yellowjackets) have a few other shows under their belts but nothing that may ring a bell to most. Nobody Loves You may be the piece that makes that bell ring.

Heath Calvert as Byron (center) with (from left) Kate Morgan Chadwick, Jenni Barber and Lauren Molina in the World Premiere musical Nobody Loves You, with music and lyrics by Gaby Alter and book and lyrics by Itamar Moses, directed by Michelle Tattenbaum, May 9 - June 17, 2012 at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

The story is about Jeff (Adam Kantor), an ontology student, whose girlfriend has just broken up with him because she finds she has to work too hard to make things work. She decides to leave him and go on the reality show Nobody Love You, in the hopes of finding someone she doesn’t have to work so hard to connect with, or at least have a good time trying to find it.

The bookish Jeff, stunned by the out-of-the-blue-breakup, vows to change, but she leaves anyway. It’s then that Jeff decides to follow her by submitting a videotape to the producers of Nobody Loves You, in hopes of getting on the show and winning her back.

It’s a simple premise, and it works. The music and lyrics are fun, witty, and are all character driven. Some stick out more than others like So Much To Hate and The Twitter Song, and Nobody Loves You but it’s really the individual actors that make these songs and the script work.

Kantor is great and thoroughly enjoyable. He’s a got a great voice, and he brings a lot of life into the role of Jeff, so much so that his performance band-aids some of the problems with the script. One glaring problem involves a potential love interest for Jeff. There’s just not enough development with both characters to make it work and if you think about it too long it comes across as one-sided. His love interest needs a song, better dialogue or maybe a different actress to bring the character to life the way Kantor brings his to life.

Jenni Barber plays Jenny, a story editor on the reality show. She nails the mousy put upon gal Friday. She has a voice that soars, and is likeable enough, but her character is undeveloped much like most of the women in the show. These characters work in snippets, but because the men’s roles are so real, so well played out, the women’s roles pale by comparison. Again, this could be the writing, direction or the performers. They are all good, but they just seem to lose their steam.

Alex Brightman as Evan in the World Premiere musical Nobody Loves You, with music and lyrics by Gaby Alter and book and lyrics by Itamar Moses, directed by Michelle Tattenbaum, May 9 – June 17, 2012 at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

Alex Brightman plays a few characters in the show, a stoner, a macho, fellow contestant on the show, and Evan, a fan obsessed with the

show. Of all of Brightman’s characters it is the character of Evan that he seems to connect with most. His fearless portrayal as a blue-one-piece-sweat-suit-wearing-Twitter-obsessed-fan-of-the-show is dead on. His performance, along with Kantor, raises the bar for the rest of the

cast and keeps it raised until the final moments of the show.

Kelsey Kurz plays a few roles as well. However it’s his role as Christian, a religious young man determined to spread the word of chastity, that is his biggest role and fits him like a glove. His endearing, energetic, and torn apart performance as a contestant on the show is a winner.

Rounding out the men in the cast is Heath Calvert who plays the Byron, the host of the reality show. Again, great voice, (especially in Obstacle Course Of Love and Crush Ceremony). He nails his character. His Byron is a hysterical cross between Bob Saget and Ryan Seacrest, with just enough smarm and stupidity to still be likeable.

Again, the women’s performances are good, but are just not as fully realized as the men’s. Lauren Molina, Nicole Lewis and Kate Morgan Chadwick play many characters throughoutthe show including fellow contestants on Nobody Loves You, but much like Barber’s Jenny, something is missing that would make these roles, and the women who play them, really stand out.

Would Stephanie J. Block (Wicked, 9 to 5) playing Jenny, or Megan Hilty (TV’s Smash, 9 to 5) as bad girl contestant Megan change that? Maybe, maybe not. However, that thought did come to mind and stayed there.

Nobody Loves You plays here at The Old Globe until June 17, and it is recommended that you see it. It is a fun evening of theatre and song that charms and will make you laugh unexpectedly. What happens to the show from here isn’t known, so see it now. Support the beginnings of this show now, here in San Diego. You won’t be sorry you did.



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Posted by LGBT Weekly on Jun 14, 2012. Filed under Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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