Roundabout Theatre Company presents Mike Bartlett's new dark comedy about what happened to the free-loving teens of the '60s when they started to face middle age. Directed by Tony winner Michael Mayer. More…
London, 1967. Beatlemania is in full effect, the “Me” generation is in its prime, and Kenneth and Sandra have the world at their fingertips. It’s the summer of love, and that’s all they need. But what will happen when the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll fade away and these boomers have babies of their own? Tony-nominated playwright Bartlett ('King Charles III') follows one couple through four tumultuous decades.
"Bartlett has given us what looks on first viewing like the best stage comedy to come along since Tom Stoppard’s 'The Real Thing,' and Mr. Mayer’s production is flat-out perfect...The laughs are piled high atop one another, but they’re bracingly angry...'Love' is, in short, a morality play, but one so well made and pulverizingly funny that it hardly ever feels preachy...It’s gloriously funny, but it’s also an important play, one whose harsh message deserves to be heard far more widely." Full Review
"A cross between Joe Orton and Kenneth Lonergan, this snappy satire follows the adventures of a young British couple as they meet in swinging London and follow their bliss to 2011, birthing and discarding emotionally stunted offspring along the way. As Bartlett tells it, with searing insight and mocking wit in a flawless production directed by Michael Mayer, this was the generation that grabbed everything with both hands — and then ate their young." Full Review
"Witty, intelligent, insightful and speaks volumes...The cast is perfect with Zoe Kazan breaking new ground...Mr. Mayer makes 'Love, Love, Love' seem like several episodes of 'Love, American Style' gone painstakingly bad. This play needs to be seen, produced and shown to a public that needs to laugh, needs to think and needs to be shown the truth. Mike Bartlett is a playwright to take note of, much like Tom Stoppard and Neil Simon." Full Review
"Naturally, even a work from as assured and original a playwright as Mr. Bartlett calls for top-notch performances to bring out the humor and nuances of his script...With Michael Mayer directing a well-chosen cast there's nothing to worry about in the acting department. Nor will American audiences have a problem relating to these characters...It all adds up to a well-paced production of a beautifully crafted, funny and poignant new play." Full Review
"Often hilarious, ultimately troubling comedy, under the inspired direction of Michael Mayer...As portrayed to sheer perfection by British heartthrob Richard Armitage and Oscar and Tony nominee Amy Ryan, Kenneth and Sandra latch onto the free-love, pre me-generation ethos of the swinging '60s as teens and use it as the road map for their lives...Yet, it remains a testament to Armitage and Ryan that it’s almost impossible to hate these two people, even when we question or despise their actions." Full Review
"'Love, Love, Love' looks to be one of the comedy highlights of this season...The comedy is superbly portrayed by this well-chosen cast—Armitage and Ryan are the perfect ying and yang, ever so delicately brought to life by Michael Mayer’s fine directorial hand. Derek McLane’s three well-designed sets are right on the money as are Susan Hilferty’s costumes." Full Review
“Bartlett’s lacerating entertainment is less believably about a cultural and political generation than about the curdling of two outlandishly selfish individuals. Putting broader meanings aside, the drama is a spectacular showcase for marvelous actors to age and transform into almost unrecognizable versions of the same characters...Bartlett creates dazzling character-revealing dialogue and, under the virtuosic direction of Mayer, makes people whose agonies are giddily enjoyable.” Full Review
"Armitage and Ryan have made momentous, memorable characters through Ken and Sandra...They both do excellently at making their characters’ layered and easily examinable for moral lessons...I was enthralled by 'Love, Love, Love.' The cast was stellar...Seeing how generations struggle to extend themselves in love between and for each other is a topic that is timeless, but not as articulately or humorously discussed as in 'Love, Love, Love.'" Full Review
"This play rumbles with a sometimes too easy irony...And yet I have to admit I had a swell time at 'Love, Love, Love,' impeccably directed by Michael Mayer and featuring a nigh-perfect five-member ensemble...The greatest joy in 'Love, Love, Love' comes from the chance it affords its stars to conquer the aging process and to demonstrate how people change — or more to the point, remain themselves — over the years." Full Review
"Although it may sound overly schematic in print, the psychocultural history mapped by 'Love, Love, Love' is filled with interesting detours and switchbacks, abundant humor and a refusal (mostly) to condemn baby boomers outright...Michael Mayer’s fine-tuned and nicely balanced production shows off five actors in top form...It’s a testament to Bartlett’s clever, incisive dialogue that such selfish, limited people should steal our hearts." Full Review
"A devilish delight, packed with the kind of uproarious surprises, ironic echoes, and self-consuming insights that are pretty rare in the theatre today...Mayer's direction is excellent, concise and creative...In a climactic speech, Bartlett abandons subtlety and subtext altogether and starts preaching outright...Bartlett works infinitely better under the radar, delivering his compelling social commentary with wry humor, precisely timed shocks, and exactly the right amount of heart." Full Review
"Mike Bartlett has written a mordantly funny play...Smartly directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer. His staging of Bartlett's trenchant wit has the audience constantly laughing at awkward or uncomfortable interactions even when we sense tragedy on the horizon...Bartlett's piercing satire holds many grains of truth, and will resonate ruefully with both generations it depicts." Full Review
"One of the things I most enjoyed about Mike Bartlett's play is the ease at which he gets the audience just before he slides the knife in. Biting, cunning, humorous, and genuinely quite an accurate indictment he makes of the Baby Boomer generation (with a dash of Millennial choke-on-this thrown in.)...This ensemble cast is superb... Sets, divine...Michael Mayer must have had so much fun directing this one—letting some lines hang—and pounding others down our throats." Full Review
"Mike Bartlett deftly balances the big picture—the damage wrought by a generation with entitlement issues—with the specific, as the amiable but exasperating couple wreaks havoc on its children. Outstanding performances across the board, a smart trilogy of time-hopping sets and costumes, and a top-notch script make this bitter pill easy to swallow." Full Review
"Bartlett irreverently reveals human nature through the spectacle of perfectly awful characters getting away with everything. Some viewers might protest that his characters verge on caricature, but it is through the live combat of these artful stereotypes that generational drama becomes uproarious comedy. Certainly, it offers a particularly fun challenge to a creative team. Director Michael Mayer pushes the comedy to farcical proportions, especially in the riotous second act." Full Review
"It’s a scathing, occasionally sidesplitting and not precisely subtle indictment of the Baby Boomer generation and the havoc it has heedlessly wrought...Bartlett occasionally comes at his social and political argument too directly...But he leavens his argument with a lot of nasty humor and is very good at showing the destruction a careless remark or action can inflict...Together the ensemble joins to create one of the most indelibly and viciously failed families to grace the contemporary stage." Full Review
"Bartlett manages the neat trick of making us relate to his characters while not particularly liking them. It's a testament to his gifts for incisive characterization, pungent comic dialogue and astute social commentary...The lead performers skillfully handle the difficult assignment of playing characters over several decades, even if they're not always fully convincing in every incarnation...While 'Love' is not quite as profound as it intends to be, there's an awfully lot in it to, well, love." Full Review
"A three-act comedic drama set in the domestic sphere but with an underlying political edge, 'Love, Love, Love' is essentially an indictment of a husband and wife over a 50-year period in England...The first two acts initially seem short and slight, but the play as a whole pays off in the end...Michael Mayer’s production also becomes increasingly more entertaining as the atmosphere becomes more combative and the performances hit ridiculous extremes." Full Review
"'What did you stand for? Nothing except being able to do whatever the f!!k you wanted.' Harsh, yes, and let’s admit somewhat broad for a generation that included at least a few societal game changers. Yet still ringing of truth, especially in the performances that Mayer has drawn from this amazing quintet...While it’s great fun watching Armitage and, especially, Ryan age seamlessly from callow youth to shallow middle age, it’s the increasingly commanding Kazan who walks off with the show." Full Review
"Selfishness is a motif in the scathingly funny take enlivened by excellent performances. Michael Mayer directs with precision that doesn’t let anybody off the hook...The author provides a sharply funny look at this kind of parenthood, which is a welcome antidote to the parental platitudes often served us in plays, films and TV programs. Amy Ryan in particular raises her character to an art form as she energizes a larger-than-life persona in a performance that is as funny as it is award worthy." Full Review
"Guideposts from the Baby Boomers, the Me Generation, and the Millennials emerge shining with palpable irony and, under Mayer's direction, five razor-sharp cast members portray characters who are well-carved, poked at and picked apart for detailed authenticity...Bartlett's smart dialogue and efficient touches of comedy aside, it is difficult to like these complex characters...Like them or not, however, it is compelling watching these pros cast their cruelty and react to it." Full Review
"Directed by Michael Mayer, the talented actors bring out dynamic and enjoyable performances...Much of the comedic effect comes from the difference between parents and children, with parents jokingly dancing through life and the kids’ lives filled with drama. Mike Bartlett raises some very down-to-earth questions...These bitter questions about life come sugarcoated in a smart and fast-moving comedy, which makes them easy to swallow and take some time to digest after the show." Full Review
"So … is it better to be born smart, or lucky? That’s the question I found myself coming back to in the days after 'Love, Love, Love,' which finally proves to be making a point—and asking hard questions—about entitlement, fortune and circumstance...'Love, Love, Love' left me both amused, and consumed by thoughts about fortune and fate. This marks two seasons in a row with an engaging and fast-paced play by Mike Bartlett on our shores." Full Review
"Kenneth and Sandra are some of the most endearing and amusing awful people you're likely to hang with anytime soon...The play itself may not be a masterpiece, but it's solid and compelling...I nevertheless wouldn't argue that this is a terribly startling or profound message, or one that offers much in the way of insight into the fate of the characters...Then again, as far as characters go, the ones in 'Love, Love, Love' are memorable, curiously endearing, and beautifully rendered." Full Review
"Bartlett is a great writer and a keen observer of relationships, and he proves as much with this decade-spanning serio-comedy that traces the relationship of Kenneth (Richard Armitage, appealing, commanding, charming) and Sandra (Amy Ryan, sharp, cunning, captivating) from the swinging '60s to present day, all under the direction of Tony winner Michael Mayer...Bartlett entreats the audience to think about love, love, love, in all its shapes and sizes, in all the directions it can take you." Full Review
See it if You want to see a thought provoking and powerful comedic drama that gets more and more dramatic and depressing as it goes on.
Don't see it if You don't like drama. You do not like layered shows.
See it if You enjoy plays that are relevant to the point where you may question your own life and place in soceity.
Don't see it if You're into plays that are artificial, grand, and irrelevant - this was as real as it gets.
See it if watching the development of 2 characters over their lives and through time interests you. Also it's very funny.
Don't see it if you're conservative and you're not willing to move past discomfort.
See it if you like amazing acting (yes they play age 19 through like 60 convincingly!) and you live through the 60s/70s (or your parents did).
Don't see it if you're looking for fluff entertainment or a musical (though the soundtrack is great!)
See it if you like bruising, original characters pouring it out onstage. A fun, fight for one another's attention.
Don't see it if you don't like your theater pitched at a certain volume.
See it if You will appreciate a very well executed, and occasionally quite funny, play that follows a dysfunctional family through four decades.
Don't see it if You are looking for an uplifting play or one with a large cast and elaborate costumes and sets.
See it if If you enjoy interesting characters and their development, family drama and good acting.
Don't see it if Are not interested in family dramas, want a simple plot and don't want to think.
See it if Bartlett is amazing when it comes to clever wordplay and conversations you have fun getting lost in. Amy Ryan is a powerhouse comic actress.
Don't see it if It's not quite up to Barlett's King Charles III, but that's a high bar. Doesn't have a strong, uninterrupted plotline, if you need that.
See it if You want wonderful acting, timely story, great insight into modern family life, and parent child relationships in a complicated marriage
Don't see it if You can't handle complicated family relationships and the reality of today's young adults.
See it if you enjoy great acting, superb writing, and very detailed staging. If you are ok that none of the characters are very likeable
Don't see it if You can't understand English accents or slang, if you don't like curse words, or don't like jumps in time
See it if for five outstanding performances from a terrific cast. Bartlett's play is an exciting indictment of both baby boomers and millennials.
Don't see it if if you aren't willing to wait for the pay off of the third act. The first two are well done, but it all pays off in the last 40 minutes.
See it if you like a thought-provoking story line and great acting. The manipulative brother at the beginning was annoying but necessary to the rest
Don't see it if I think this is a don't miss
See it if you want to see a show that explores the way generations interact with one another and asks questions about said relationships
Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with the idea of watching kind of bad people be bad to one another
See it if cast was great, especially Amy Ryan. Characters are selfish and unlikeable, but make you think "is it so bad to be this terrible?"
Don't see it if You can't stand selfish, whiny, self-centered people. Or get bored with long dialogue. But there are two intermissions!
See it if Fresh, funny examination of the repercussions of selfish baby boomer parenting. Each act a different decade. Great acting, esp. Amy Ryan.
Don't see it if You're uncomfortable with the possibility of seeing some of your own less stellar parenting moments played out; some "ouch" moments for me.
See it if You want to see great ensemble acting tackling subjects that can be difficult; Richard Armitage and Amy Ryan are spectacular. Well-written.
Don't see it if You find challenging drama difficult to ingest and only want happy endings.
See it if you're interested in topics around wealth, baby boomers/millennials, and young people making change. The characters and story are compelling
Don't see it if you have difficulty understanding British accents or if you're looking to see something that's more based in spectacle.
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