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Nobody Loves You

a Musical Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY MUSICAL
by Itamar Moses (book & lyrics), Gaby Alter (music & lyrics)

COMPANY : Horizon Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Horizon Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
ID# 5063

SHOWING : March 17, 2017 - April 30, 2017

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

The game of love is on! Tune into “Nobody Loves You,” the show in which cluelessly self-obsessed contestants compete for love and adoring fans. When Jeff, a philosophy grad student, snags a spot on this reality dating show in trying to win back his ex, he breaks all the rules and attempts to expose its “authenticity.” That is until he unexpectedly falls into an on-set love connection with Jenny, an enticingly prickly producer. Take a behind-the-scenes ride through this hilarious musical comedy about the intimate and gut-wrenching quest for love while millions of viewers watch.

“Nobody Loves You” hurls darts at its soft target with impressive aim, nimbly spoofing a subject you’d think would be spoof-proof – thus defeating odds tougher than your chances of landing a spot on “The Amazing Race” … an agreeably snarky, zesty little musical.” – The New York Times

“The show is fast moving, both funny and sometimes pretty sexy.” — Atlanta Arts Scene

“One of the funniest most entertaining shows I’ve seen in years.” — Asher PR


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Heidi Cline
Megan Jennifer Acker
Samantha Leslie Bellair
Jenny Jeanette Illidge
Nina/Tanya Wendy Melkonian
Byron Brad Raymond
Christian Ben Thorpe
Evan/Dominic Austin Tijerina
Jeff Patrick Wade
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REVIEWS

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Everybody Loves Somebody
by playgoer
Sunday, April 23, 2017
4.0
"Nobody Loves You" is a laugh-out-loud show with tons of funny lines, lots of funny situations, and a cast of actors who add funny bits of their own. Under Heidi Cline McKerley’s direction, the comedy triumphs. Other elements of the show aren’t so successful.

Moriah and Isabel Curley-Clay have designed a workable set, but not an attractive one (and not all that workable in the steep curved steps stage right). It’s primarily supposed to be the set of a schlocky romance reality show in which mixtape CDs are presented by each contestant to another of their choice. The circular form of a CD seems to be an inspiration for parts of the design, but it’s very crudely done. The "o" letters in the title (in cut-out letters on the wall) hardly look like CDs at all, and the circular motif in the center of the floor looks like the remnants of a set design that once incorporated a revolving section. The Curley-Clays’ costumes also miss the mark here and there, with a couple of hideous sundresses briefly appearing on finalist contestants.

Mary Parker’s lighting design is much better, actually making the screen of cut-out hearts that obscures the band look attractive under varying colored lights at the entr’acte. Ryan Bradburn’s props are fine, with the highlight coming in the leather room segment. Even there, though, there’s a certain crudeness of implementation.

Sound, under Rob Brooksher’s design, is on the loud side, but not painfully so. Voices are excellent across the board, proving the excellence of Alli Lingenfelter’s musical direction (and the talent and skill of the cast and the four-piece band). The songs themselves, however, generally feature pedestrian lyrics and melodies that don’t linger. Only the songs sung by Brad Raymond, as Byron, the TV host, really enhance the show. Austin Tijerina has a couple of Twitter commentary songs that also provoke a lot of laughs. The other songs aim for standard musical theatre territory, but don’t quite hit the mark.

Most of the actors play multiple roles, some just cameos of contestants who don’t last long in the competition. What works is actors instantly switching from real-life to supposed video clips with just a change in lighting and having actors portray a Twitter feed (with Jennifer Alice Acker appearing as different kinds of spam entries). Otherwise, having the same characters in multiple roles skews the balance of the show from its storyline to a revue-like sensibility of "look how talented and versatile we actors are."

And the actors are talented! Jennifer Alice Acker shows great physicality as the free-spirited Megan, contrasting with the uptight Christian of Ben Thorpe. Austin Tijerina and Leslie Bellair dance as well as they act and sing, and Wendy Melkonian finds a twist to almost every line that pleases immensely. In the more straightforward roles of the leading romantic couple, Patrick Wade and Jeanette Illidge exude likeability, while still finding character tics to make their characters interesting. Brad Raymond has a voice to raise the rafters, even in as lofty a space as Horizon Theatre.

The writers of the show are tweaking it with the intention of bringing it back to New York. What they have is an immensely entertaining, frothy comedy with music. What they don’t have is a musical that completely lands as a musical. Still, it’s a wonderful showcase for director and cast alike. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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