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Love, Love, Love

Members say: Great acting, Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Thought-provoking
79
Critics
78
36 reviews
Members
79
293 reviews
 

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.

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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. 

 

Cast & Creatives (12)



Reviews (329)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
78
Avg Score

85
The New York Times

"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

80
Theatermania

"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

90
Variety

"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

85
Time Out New York

"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

80
The Hollywood Reporter

"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

80
The Guardian (UK)

"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

40
New York Magazine / Vulture

"That the play is little more than a stunt dawns on you only gradually. In the 1967 act, you might be blinded by the brightness and sitcom speed of Michael Mayer’s high-gloss production...Then, when the second act leaps ahead 23 years, the bottom falls out...Craziness is fun to watch, until it isn’t...This is the kind of play that seems to have been written in reverse, starting with a slick structural concept and heading, somewhat haphazardly, back toward human portraiture." Full Review

55
Lighting & Sound America

"The playwright's indictment of superficial baby-boomer values doesn't quite land, since it comes wrapped in a slick comedy filled with characters who are little more than human targets for barbed commentary. Cheers to director Michael Mayer and his gifted cast for keeping things lively...If you're going to indict an entire generation for its shallow values, your play is going to need more heft than this slick, superficial effort." Full Review

95
The Wall Street Journal

"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

80
AM New York

"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

85
Talkin' Broadway

"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

75
The Clyde Fitch Report

"The five actors, whom Michael Mayer directs with utmost authority, play together well. Needing to present characters who age 44 years, Ryan and Armitage have the biggest challenges, and they come out okay, if best suited to Act II. Rosenfield’s Jamie and Kazan’s Rose only age 21 years and come out OK, too. Susan Hilferty’s costumes help with the time progressions." Full Review

75
Front Row Center

"The entire ensemble turns in strong performances...The leaps in time and setting are visually delightful. The compromise, however, is that the transformations require a 10-minute intermission between each short act. This effectively kills any pacing that director Michael Mayer was hoping to establish. The experience is more like binge watching three episodes of a BBC comedy, than viewing a cohesive piece of theater." Full Review

90
Times Square Chronicles

"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

75
New York Daily News

"Mike Bartlett’s caustic comic takedown of British baby boomers is wildly funny and just as blunt...Michael Mayer’s direction is fluid and the acting is sublime, but it’s hard to love, love, love the fact that Bartlett spells things out so baldly." Full Review

80
Deadline

"'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

90
CurtainUp

"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

90
Newsday

“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

70
The Wrap

"It’s hard to say what’s more astounding: that Armitage is utterly convincing at each age in each act, or that someone has written a three-act play in an era of 80-minute divertissements?...Mayer‘s direction is bouncy...Mayer’s manic brand is much less effective with the introduction of Kazan’s teenage Rose in the second act. From the beginning, she should be the eye in this family storm, but her tragedy is played for broad laughs." Full Review

90
CitiTour

"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

80
WNBC

"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

85
The Associated Press

"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

80
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"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

40
Broadway & Me

"Bartlett is a clever writer with an acute ear for dialog and, with the assistance of Michael Mayer's sharp direction, the play is undeniably witty and entertaining. But I had expected it to be more—and to be more subtle...None of it is enough to inflate the play's one-dimensional caricatures into full-bodied people or to refine its broad generalizations about the lives of those in the boomer generation into a convincing portrait of one specific family." Full Review

75
TheaterScene.net

“British actor Richard Armitage making his New York stage debut and Tony and Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan work hard to make Kenneth and Sandra three-dimensional, likeable people, but, as written by Mr. Bartlett, their crassness is the fatal flaw in ‘Love, Love, Love’. Why should we enjoy spending so much time with two people who so adroitly care only for themselves?” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
79
Avg Score

78
Funny, Quirky, Cliched, Slow, Dated

See it if You like Amy Ryan, British comedy, following characters through different eras and generations

Don't see it if You don't get British comedy, you aren't prepared to sit a three-act play

80
Funny, Sharp, Great acting, Resonant

See it if dark comedies about selfish parents

Don't see it if the above

82
Funny, Indulgent

See it if you like the cast, unique story, and captivating to watch.

Don't see it if no outstanding reasons other than you might not find the concept interesting and in that case I would not recommend it.

72
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Slow

See it if the 60s and all that followed molded or changed your life. You are a child of a baby boomer and enjoy thought provoking plays.

Don't see it if you are a baby boomer that isn't ready to evaluate the impact your generation had on the world, be it for better or worse.

82
Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Dated

See it if you're a fan of Barltett! Or if you just enjoy really well-written and acted plays. It definitely made me feel/think a lot of things.

Don't see it if you want a (spoiler?) happy ending. This show is about love but the more problematic side of it. It's definitely a lot to process

70
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if you enjoy insightful plays or a slice of life from the 60s

Don't see it if dysfunctional family dramas annoy you

78
Annoying, Great acting, Interesting, Frustrating, Groovy

See it if If you like crazy, well thought out characters, and watching them evolve over the decades.

Don't see it if You are bothered by narcissists, drunken behavior, or loathful parenting.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if You are a baby boomer who could never figure your parents out; wondered why some siblings were so different;like changing sets

Don't see it if You dislike changing sets;2 intermissions:drug and alcohol use; 60's 70's 80's;parents as the villains

Also The background music had people in the audience singing along;The nigh... Read more Read less

85
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if you would like to see the evolution of a dysfunctional family.

Don't see it if you don't like dysfunctional families and the drama that goes along with them.

78
Absorbing, Great acting

See it if You appreciate versatility in actors. Amy Ryan and Richard Armitage play the same people at three notably different stages of life.

Don't see it if You're tired of generational comparisons and kids blaming their parents. While the acting is impressive, there's nothing newly insightful.

63
Annoying, Indulgent, Entertaining

See it if Never got over the sixties...even in your sixties.

Don't see it if You have no desire to spend an evening with selfish narcissists.

75
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Relevant, Resonant

See it if Interesting concept, with something relevant to say about our current situation and the 60s generation responsibility for it.

Don't see it if Amy Ryan was not believable as a 19-year-old, and had a very annoying affectation that softened as the show went on but never went away.

Also A very original script. Great music in between scenes. Was not at all ... Read more Read less

79
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you want to see some dazzling acting in a script which requires them to play the same characters across a span of 30+ years.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy observations about the life and times of the Baby Boomer generation.

70
Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you find generational topics interesting

Don't see it if you dislike slow, life dramas

100
Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant, Riveting, Great writing

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.

79
Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you enjoy evolutional, relationship plays. Baby Boomers beware. This may hit too close to home. Spans 40 years with same cast. Well done.

Don't see it if you have no interest in revisiting the 60's forward. Don't like to be introspective.

80
Clever, Great acting, Cliched

See it if you like contemporary plays about a family unit that evolves over 40 years; challenging for the actors and well done

Don't see it if you're bothered by script/character development. Daughter is well written w/poignant moments that are not fully equaled by her parents

90
Funny, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Great writing

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!)

60
Disappointing, Tedious, uninspired

See it if Your are a fan of Mike Bartlett (we are) and you want to see some fine acting in a dismal play

Don't see it if You lived through the 60s and have a sophisticated point of view than simply stereotyping those who may still be trying to build a new world

86
Funny, Great acting, Relevant

See it if enjoy great acting. Amy Ryan in particular is sublime! There are certainly dark undertones here but I really enjoyed this piece.

Don't see it if don't like character driven plays. That's the real joy here: watching this amazing ensemble.

80
Clever, Relevant, Resonant, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you like storytelling that progresses unfolds over generations; like plays with a stinging message;

Don't see it if don't like plays that point out a generation's flaws; don't want a dose of reality.

87
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you like clever family stories, with modern themes

Don't see it if you get annoyed by mean and selfish characters

91
Funny, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great writing

See it if you want to catch one of the best off-Broadway offerings this season!

Don't see it if you don't care for british accents.

80
Edgy, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy a simple story and setting but enjoyable story

Don't see it if You prefer high action, fancy setting and depth in characters

50
Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if Broad strokes of history/social change and loosely crafted characters is enough to sustain your interest through this "concept play."

Don't see it if Depth is a requirement or if you're expecting the same level of quality here that we got out of King Charles III. This is a minor work