By Diana Saenger
Michelle Tattenbaum, director of The Old Globe’s “Nobody Loves You” is in full swing readying the musical comedy for its world premiere May 9. “It’s kind of like an old-fashioned musical — there’s comedy and romance; but it’s extremely fun and with wonderful music,” she said.
Music and lyrics are by Gaby Alter, with book and lyrics by Itamar Moses. The pop song-filled plot is about a philosophy grad student (Adam Kantor, “Rent,” “Next To Normal”) who goes to extremes to win back his ex on a dating show … but then along comes Jenny (Jenni Barber, “Some Lovers”).
Tattenbaum (“Love/Stories,” “The Four of Us,” “Firefly”) said she was working with Moses a few years back on another show when they saw that peoples’ obsession with reality TV was starting to build. “We both had a lot to say about trying to live your life today and find a connection with other people, which is what this show is about,” she said.
Moses is author of the plays “Outrage,” “Bach at Leipzig,” “Celebrity Row,” “The Four of Us,” “Yellowjackets,” “Back, Back, Back” and more. He’s written for TNT’s “Men of a Certain Age,” and HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” He is a former Globe Playwright-in-Residence.
Tattenbaum said she enjoys everything about Moses’ creative energy. “He’s smart, funny, and has a mix of serious ideas and themes, which combined, make lots of laughs,” she said. “I get his sense of humor, he cracks me up, and I get where his characters are at and what they are struggling with. With Moses’ writing, I have an immediate access point into the characters.”
“Nobody Loves You” explores who one is in relation to other people and the challenges that people face through the ages, “and now all of our electronic connections – we talk on the phone but rarely get together in person,” Tattenbaum said.
Along with her passion for the story, Tattenbaum said she is also excited about the music and lyrics by Alter (“Young Zombies in Love”), music direction by Vadim Feichtner (Broadway’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”) and choreography by Mandy Moore (Emmy Award-nominated director, choreographer and dancer known for her work on “So You Think You Can Dance,” “American Idol,” and “Dancing with the Stars.”
“‘They are all incredible,” Tattenbaum said. “I think we assembled a great team who gets what this project is about – which is finding love. We have a shared sensibility. I’ll suggest something to Mandy and she does it 10 times better than I imagined. She totally gets the humor of the show and figures out dance moves that are exactly the right style. Vadim is an extraordinary musician with a writing background, so he’s able to approach the storytelling and not just how the music should go.”