Nobody Loves You

book and lyrics by Itamar Moses, music and lyrics by Gaby Alter

Produced by Second Stage Theatre
June 2013 - August 2013

Produced by The Old Globe
May 2012 - June 2012

A romantic comedy about the search for meaningful relationships in a culture dominated by the quest for popularity. When Jeff, a philosophy grad student, goes on a reality TV dating show to win back his ex, he instead finds a girl who might be the love of his life. But will she fall for him once he is seduced by the adulation of his fans?

Over the course of the show's development, I directed Nobody Loves You in its New York premiere at Second Stage; at the NAMT festival of New Musicals; at the Old Globe (world premiere production); in Goodspeed Musicals' Festival of New Artists; and at the Cape Cod Theatre Project.

The Old Globe production was nominated for four Craig Noel Awards, including Best New Musical and Best Director.
Nobody Loves You was the Best New Musical of 2012, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Production photos:

Second Stage production:

Photos by Joan Marcus, Lighting Design by Benjamin Stanton, Costume Design by Jessica Pabst, and Set Design by Mark Wendland.

Old Globe production:

Photos by Henry DiRocco, Lighting Design by Tyler Micoleau, Set Design by Michael Schwiekardt, Costume Design by Emily Pepper.


Second Stage production:

"...this agreeably snarky musical...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.”"

Critics Pick
The New York Times, July 19th, 2013

"...[this] high-torque pop musical about the triumphant vulgarity of TV love competitions is…genuinely funny, thanks to abundant wit from book-writer-and-lyricist Itamar Moses… crisp direction from Michelle Tattenbaum (whom we'll be seeing more of around town, I predict), and an airtight ensemble of regulars, up-and-comers and lesser-knowns, all of them united in a common goal: To surprise and delight in the here and now, not just frack dry wells for residual amusement."
New York Magazine, July 20th, 2013

"Michelle Tattenbaum...wraps the show up in spare but gleaming style."
New York Daily News, July 19th, 2013

"...the wonderful new pop musical “Nobody Loves You” takes on that most ridiculous of genres in a way that’s both silly and smart...Energetically directed by Michelle Tattenbaum…the show is an upbeat funfest."
New York Post, July 19th, 2013

"...cheeky and highly crushable..."
Critics Pick, 4 stars
TimeOut New York, July 19th, 2013

"...a bright, clued-in, quick-witted amusement...thanks to the sly book and lyrics by Itamar Moses, the music and lyrics by Gaby Alter and a knowing cast directed with just the right appreciation of the absurd by Michelle Tattenbaum."
New York Newsday, July 19th, 2013

" of the smartest accounts of love among the post-grad set...Michelle Tattenbaum’s production (with calisthenic choreography by Mandy Moore) is lively, congenially put across by a very game cast..."
Bloomberg, July 19th, 2013

"...the smartest new musical comedy to come along since "The Drowsy Chaperone."...Michelle Tattenbaum's staging plugs into the characters' feelings without bogging down in sentiment. The eight-person cast contains nary a weak link...a pithy, intimate romp..."Nobody Loves You" deserves to run and run and run."
The Wall Street Journal, July 26th, 2013

Itamar Moses and Gaby Alter were featured in this New York Times article about reality television in theater.

Old Globe production:

Feature articles on the Old Globe production have appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune, "A Musical Reality Check"; La Jolla Light "It’s reality TV vs. romantic comedy in The Globes’ Nobody Loves You"; the San Diego Jewish Journal, "Create a Musical"; and the North County Times "Globe, Playwright Team for Third Premiere with Musical Nobody Loves You".

"Best New Musical 2012
"This one's an easy call: "Nobody Loves You," a concise, compact reality-TV spoof by Gaby Alter and Itamar Moses that's part open-hearted rom-com, part dead-on satire. By all rights it should have gone straight from San Diego's Old Globe to an off-Broadway theater. The sooner "Nobody Loves You" gets here, the better."
The Wall Street Journal, December 27, 2012

""Nobody Loves You,” a delightful chamber musical having its premiere here at the Old Globe Theater, confounds expectations with its verve and ingenuity in poking silly fun at the absurdities of the crass, malice-riddled and embarrassingly addictive shows in which common folk are given a chance to grab the fleeting celebrity spotlight and win love, money or, best of all, a spinoff...Under the peppy direction of Michelle Tattenbaum, the cast embodies the pop stereotypes they are asked to portray with winning gusto."
The New York Times, June 9, 2012

"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. Delighted audiences in San Diego, and surely elsewhere for years to come, will eagerly hand everyone involved a rose...The flawless ensemble...demonstrates boundless charm within helmer Michelle Tattenbaum's droll, understated style."
Variety, May 20, 2012

""Nobody Loves You," in which a geeky philosophy major (Adam Kantor) auditions for a "Survivor"-style reality TV show to make his ex jealous, could transfer to New York pretty much intact…the production, directed by Michelle Tattenbaum and choreographed by Mandy Moore, is as crisp and smart as the show itself. Everyone in the cast is immensely likable and impeccably accomplished… it has the smell of a hit."
Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2012

"Moses' book is filled with deliciously snarky insider humor about the unreality of reality TV, the psychological characteristics that compel seemingly intelligent people to compete for artificial on-camera romance, and the shallowness and greed that drives the production of these sleazy (but addictive) shows.
And yet, as sharp as this satire may be, there's an unexpected current of sweetness flowing underneath. True love can blossom in the unlikeliest of places, the producer and host may be manipulative but they're not evil, and the TV show's fans are entertained and even empowered by what they see. It's a delicate balance, but it works thanks to the smart, playful direction of Michelle Tattenbaum and the hilarious hyper-corny choreography of Mandy Moore."
North County Times, Critics Pick, May 18, 2012

"Despite the fact that you will never see or hear me engaged in a conversation about a reality TV show, (I just don’t watch them) doesn’t negate the fact that I love a good laugh. Go ahead and ‘make my day’. Both Itamar and Alter and friend, the third leg of the dynamic trio, director Michelle Tattenbaum, manage to create some very funny dialogue and hilarious stage pictures."
San Diego Jewish Journal, May 20, 2012

"Director Michelle Tattenbaum has staged several of Mr. Moses' plays, and she knows how to put his humor across, as well as how to create small moments that add greatly to the overall effect...This almost-perfect 90-minute musical deserves to be enjoyed well beyond its world premiere.", May 21, 2012

"Those who don’t care for reality TV shows, as well as those who are hooked on them, will thoroughly enjoy the spoof “Nobody Loves You,” a fun, hip musical premiering in the Globe Theatre’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre...Michelle Tattenbaum’s direction assures a funny romantic romp that provides a great night of entertainment."
La Jolla Light, May 25, 2012

"Director Michelle Tattenbaum and choreographer Mandy Moore keep the show perky...The musical's...entertaining and often funniest where you least expect it."
San Diego Reader, May 20, 2012

"[Michelle Tattenbaum's] direction is subtle and helps make each character seem more than just a stereotype, which serves to underscore just how crazy all of the over-the-top everything else in the “reality” show truly is."
Broadway World, May 25, 2012

"Everything about this play works. The cast is brilliant...Michelle Tattenbaum’s direction melds this ensemble of often over-the-top characters into a comedy machine and even finds room for poignant touches. The set, including drop-down cameras, evokes a sound stage but does just fine as various living rooms.
Have you ever watched television and laughed so hard you missed some of the dialogue? Just remember, there’s no TiVo in theater.", May 22, 2012

"Moses and his collaborators have found their way to an engaging and entertaining show. The excellent cast sings, dances and acts well, the songs are clever and the under-the-stage band is fine."
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, May 19, 2012

"[T]he world-premiere production still gets a lot of good laughs out of its clueless characters and gleefully over-the-top songs...the trip it takes to the most ridiculous fringes of reality-land can be a blast to witness...Director Michelle Tattenbaum could teach TiVo a thing or two about time-shifting: She does a deft job of transitioning between live action on the set of “NLY” and scenes that take place outside the show, often involving people watching the program weeks after taping."
San Diego Union-Tribune, May 21, 2012


Here is a video of Rory O'Malley singing "The Twitter Song" as part of the New York Times's In Performance series.

Here is a promo video of the song "Confessional", which was cut from the production.

Here is a Broadway World video of our opening night.

Old Globe production:

Here’s a promo video for the production:

Here’s a video of our first day of rehearsal:

Here’s an interview we did with Broadway World: