The new musical Nobody Loves You has received middling though somewhat positive reviews in its world premiere at San Diego’s Old Globe. The creative team includes Itamar Moses (book and lyrics), Gaby Alter (lyrics and music), Michelle Tattenbaum (direction), Mandy Moore (choreography), Michael Schweikardt (sets), Emily Pepper (costumes), Tyler Micoleau (lights), and Paul Peterson (sound). The cast includes Jenni Barber (Kenny), Alex Brightman (Chazz), Heath Calvert (Byron), Kate Morgan Chadwick (Samantha), Adam Kantor (Jeff), Kelsey Kurz (Christian), Nicole Lewis (Tanya), and Lauren Molina (Megan).
Margaret Gray (LA Times): The risk of the premise is a parade of objectionable people mocking themselves in song. But the clever co-creators … have made their two leads scorn reality TV, ensuring that everyone in the audience, from the reality junkie to the serious hater, will find someone to relate to. … The writers must have had a hard time trying to decide how much of the TV show itself to put in, and they have possibly put in too much. … Nobody Loves You‘s book and songs might feel a little first drafty, but they’re still fresh, pertinent and very, very funny.
Charles Isherwood (NY Times): Nobody Loves You, a delightful chamber musical … confounds expectations with its verve and ingenuity in poking silly fun at the absurdities of the crass, malice-riddled and embarrassingly addictive shows. … The book by Mr. Moses is consistently witty, full of sly commentary on the nitwit mechanics of the reality-show phenomenon, but also on the romantic expectations fostered. … The show’s notable weakness is the generic pop flavor of most of Mr. Alter’s music. … Nobody Loves You is at its most winning not when it’s sincerely playing Cupid, but when it’s shooting darts at the ever-more-ludicrous universe of reality television.
Rob Stevens (Theater Mania): It’s difficult to spoof something that is already so heightened. … The actors deliver naturalistic performances that seem out of place in this mostly madcap milieu. Director Michelle Tattenbaum’s staging is limited by the intimate theater-in-the-square space, and so we hear more than see most of the fun elements. In fact, musical director Vadim Feichtner leads the five-piece band from under the stage The score is mostly generic rock and definitely loud.
Bob Verini (Variety): The Old Globe’s smart, tuneful Nobody Loves You skewers a crackpot TV dating competition without losing sight of the genuinely yearning, burning hearts on either side of the small screen. … The flawless ensemble assembled by casting director Stephanie Klapper demonstrates boundless charm within helmer Michelle Tattenbaum’s droll, understated style. … If too many of Alter’s songs fall away without a plangent button, they’re too sunny and infused with pop romantic desire for anyone to care, especially as managed by Vadim Feichtner and his unseen snappy combo.