Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

‘Nobody Loves You’ takes on reality TV romance at Horizon Theatre

‘Nobody Loves You’ takes on reality TV romance at Horizon Theatre

Blog post in the AJC- Talk of the Town, By Nedra Rhone on March 21, 2017

For more than a decade, millions of viewers have tuned in to ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for a ringside seat to watch romance bloom among strangers. Some of them are looking for warm fuzzy feelings, but just as often it is the artifice and awkwardness that keeps them coming back.

In Nobody Loves You, a musical satire by Itamar Moses and Gaby Alter, the search for love never gets olds, even when it is fueled by hate. Jeff, the hero, lands on a Bachelorette-esque type show called Nobody Loves You after his reality TV addicted ex-girlfriend loses a slot. To get her back, he decides to expose the behind-the-scenes contrivances but he ends up hate-bonding with a show producer and falling in love.

“I hate the way some people come here and then act like they’re above it, when that just isn’t true,” sings Jenny, the frustrated film maker working as a show producer.

“I hate that too. Like for instance when the thing that people act like they’re above’s exactly what they do…for a living,” responds Jeff.

The Off-Broadway hit opened this month at the Horizon Theatre and runs through April 30.

Here’s a sneak peek from rehearsal:

Lisa Adler, Co-Artistic/Producing Director and Co-Founder of the Horizon saw an excerpt from the show in 2012 and wanted to bring it to Atlanta. “What drew me to the play was the topicality. It is about something that we all love or something that we love to hate. It appeals to everyone,” she said.

But Moses and Alter began writing the musical at a time when it wasn’t clear if reality TV or social media were going mainstream. “When we began writing the show 8 or 9 years ago, there was this question of “Do enough people know what reality TV is? Do we know what Twitter is?” Now the president who was a reality TV star communicates through Twitter… it is a comedy. This core idea of performance versus authenticity and how hollow everything is when it’s built on performance instead of content has a terrifying new relevance,” Moses said.

These are the days when the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise rakes in six to eight million viewers each season. Fans gather nationwide at restaurants and other venues for public viewing parties. Bachelor Fantasy League is a real thing. And you can pretty much bet on a Monday night Twitter takeover when the show airs.

Maggie Thompson began watching The Bachelorette in 2011 with her mom and her sister. Now the 19-year-old college freshman watches the franchise with her Alpha Sigma Tau sorority sisters at Olgethorpe University.

“I don’t want to say we make fun of them but the first episode is always my favorite when they come out of the limo and meet the guy and there is always one girl who acts weird,” she said. On the flip side, if your favorite girl loses out, it feels like your own heart is breaking, Thompson said.

Yes, the shows are filled with contrived scenes (how exactly did Nick Viall run into his ex-girlfriend fully made up and miked up?) and sure there are some stereotypes, but the drama is 60 minutes of pure stress relief, said Thompson.

In Nobody Loves You, no potential plot twist is left unturned.

There is the Christian named Christian who is paired with party-girl Megan:

Christian: I’m saving myself for a special girl

Megan: I’m really amazing in bed

Christian: My innermost thoughts are between me and God

Megan: I say whatever the hell’s in my head

And there’s Evan, the Superfan who live tweets everything as it happens. He even has an inside source who leaks information which he passes on as breaking news.

The show contestants compete against one another in challenges like the Minefield Tango —  damage control when a something said in secret is revealed or the 8th Grade Dance — choose a partner while the other person waits by the punch bowl.

All the while, romance is brewing backstage between Jenny and Jeff. In the end, they all find happiness in some measure.

Nobody Loves You is a spoof of the reality TV world in which we immerse ourselves, but it is offers important lessons about how we relate to one another in real life.

“It is about artifice and how we live in a world where we are constantly performing for each other,” said Adler. “It is about the connection …and letting go of the need to put up a good front and not being real about who we are and our faults.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Meet the Actors: Vanya

Come behind the scenes of this must-see play, VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, to meet the actors of this dynamic, hilarious, and moving ensemble show.

Bill waiting to go onstage as Vanya

Bill about to go onstage as Vanya

First revealed in a nightshirt, Vanya is described in the script as “50’s, living in Bucks County.  Resigned to his life, more or less, at least compared to Sonia.”  Vanya often finds himself in charge of maintaining the tenuous peace between his sisters.

Meet Bill Murphey, fresh off his celebrated run as Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady at Georgia Ensemble Theatre, we are tickled to have him as our Vanya…

What was one major inspiration for how you approached this role initially?  Vanya says early in the play that he marches to a different drummer. He means one thing specifically when he says it, but it can be universally applied to his character. He and Sonia have lived alone (with each other) for so long in this house, there’s sort of a Galapagos   feeling to them. They do things their way, and are sometimes at odds with the rest of society. There are no rules. We love, we scream, we make up. It’s family!

What trait or feeling do you share most with your character?  Vanya has strong feelings for the past and is not a fan of change. I understand his feelings though I’m not so vehement about them. I’m of that age where I’m remembering the way things were, and missing them. I also share his strong family ties.

Without spoilers, is there a moment in the play that you struggled with initially?  Why?  Without spoilers, it’s kind of hard.  There’s a line that I have toward the end of the play that’s sort of long and convoluted and covers many topics, is sometimes contradictory, and runs a wide range of emotions.  I no longer struggle with it as much, but I DO find new things in it each night that I have the privilege of saying it.  For better or worse, it’s never once been the same.  On the other extreme, there are several times in the script where my character is onstage, but Durang doesn’t give him any lines for several pages – he just listens.  My fellow actors are so engaging that I sometimes forget that I need to be listening as VANYA and not as BILL

Favorite line of the week?  How could I possibly narrow that down!  Most of my favorite lines are delivered by other actors.  I love watching Tess and Lala interact with each other.  They’re such pros.  They nail it every time.  Even lines that will only get laughs from theatre people, I love their commitment to them.  I am the luckiest actor in town right now.

For Tickets, click HERE!


Meet the Actors: Sonia

Come behind the scenes of audience favorite, VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, to meet the actors of this dynamic, hilarious, and moving ensemble show.

Lala Cochran backstage as Sonia

Lala Cochran backstage as Sonia

When you join us in our Bucks County, PA living room, the first character to speak onstage is Sonia.  Described in the script as Vanya’s “adopted sister, early 50’s, living with him in Buck’s County.  Discontent, upset, regretful,” Sonia opens the show as many of us start our mornings — with coffee.

Meet LALA COCHRAN, a Horizon Theatre veteran we are thrilled to have back playing Sonia…

What was one major inspiration for how you approached this role initially?
Sonia is, at first glance, difficult to take in. She’s a complainer, she’s melancholy and constantly threatening to kill herself. However, she does have a foot in the world of hopefulness. She somehow still manages to hold onto the hope that Vanya might change his mind, that she might meet someone at the party, that the blue heron will return. And this willingness to hope ends up paying a dividend for Sonia.

What trait or feeling do you share most with your character?
I would have to say getting dressed up and going to a party! I’m happy to report that I share most with the transformed version of Sonia.

Without spoilers, is there a moment in the play that you struggled with in the beginning? Why?
I can’t name a moment, but I’ll say that it was difficult for me to manage the quick changes of heart Sonia undergoes. One moment she’s really enjoying watching Spike “naked” in the pond and the next line she’s bemoaning her lot in life. These quick changes happen throughout the play and I really wanted to find the place that they were honest.

Favorite line of the week?
I’ve really started to enjoy, “I’m a crack addict!”