×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Off Broadway Review: ‘Love, Love, Love’ With Amy Ryan, Zoe Kazan

With:
Richard Armitage, Alex Hurt, Zoe Kazan, Ben Rosenfield, Amy Ryan.

Mike Bartlett’s play “Love, Love, Love,” now playing at the Roundabout Theater Company, takes an amused (and slightly horrified) look at the boomer generation as it arrogantly positions itself at the center of the universe from the 1960s to the present day.  A cross between Joe Orton and Kenneth Lonergan, this snappy satire follows the adventures of a young British couple (Amy Ryan and Richard Armitage) as they meet in swinging London and follow their bliss to 2011, birthing and discarding emotionally stunted offspring along the way. As Bartlett (“King Charles III”) 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.

The adventures of Kenneth (“The Hobbit” actor Armitage, born to play comedy) and Sandra (Ryan, sublimely witty) begin in 1967, when young people could taste the changes in the air.  “The laws are constantly being overthrown,” Kenneth announces, “the music’s exploding, the walls collapsing.”  Sandra couldn’t agree more. “The world’s going to be a different place in ten years,” she predicts. And off they go into that brave new world.

By 1990, when they’re both 43, Kenneth and Sandra have married and produced two teenage children, smart and sensitive Rose (Zoe Kazan) and weird Jamie (Ben Rosenfield). “You’re supposed to be rejecting your parents, it’s an important part of growing up,” Sandra lectures her passive children.  She and Kenneth have yet to outgrow the sense of entitlement conferred by the permissive society they grew up in. Sandra has a power job and is so self-absorbed that she keeps forgetting she has children.  Kenneth seems a bit more responsible, but they’re both having affairs. “We both feel trapped” is how Sandra expresses their discontent.

Despite a divorce, Kenneth and Sandra are still friendly in 2011, when they meet at the funeral of Kenneth’s brother. They’re both in other relationships, but even at 64, the sparks are still there. They scarcely pay attention when Rose finally stands up for herself.

“I’m nearly 40 and I’ve got nothing,” she says. And it’s all her parents’ fault for bringing her up according to their own selfish values, instead of giving her realistic guidance. While she’s at it, Rose trashes their entire generation, which “voted in Thatcher, destroyed the unions, reduced taxes,” and is now hell-bent on poisoning the environment while living off their cushy pensions.

Locked in their own aura, Kenneth and Sandra still see themselves as 60s rebels.  They don’t even hear poor Rose when she says: “You didn’t change the world.  You bought it.”

Popular on Variety

Off Broadway Review: 'Love, Love, Love' With Amy Ryan, Zoe Kazan

Laura Pels Theater; 424 seats; $99 top. Opened Oct. 19, 2016. Reviewed Oct. 15. Running time: TWO HOURS, 5 MIN.

Production: A Roundabout Theater Company presentation of a play in three acts, first performed by Nabokov and the Theater Royal Plymouth, by Mike Bartlett.

Creative: Directed by Michael Mayer. Sets, Derek McLane; costumes, Susan Hilferty; lighting, David Lander; sound, Kai Harada; production stage manager, Davin De Santis.

Cast: Richard Armitage, Alex Hurt, Zoe Kazan, Ben Rosenfield, Amy Ryan.

More Legit

  • Tootsie Santino Fontana

    'Tootsie' Ending Broadway Run in January

    “Tootsie,” the critically acclaimed musical adaptation of the 1982 classic film comedy, will play its final Broadway performance on Jan. 5, 2020. When it wraps up its run, the show will have logged 293 regular and 25 preview performances at the cavernous Marquis Theatre, where it sometimes labored to draw big crowds. Last week, “Tootsie” [...]

  • Laurel Griggs

    Laurel Griggs, Broadway and 'SNL' Actress, Dies at 13

    Laurel Griggs, who starred in Broadway’s “ONCE the Musical” as Ivanka, has died. She was 13. An obituary posted to Dignity Memorial indicates she died on Nov. 5, and Griggs’ grandfather wrote on Facebook that her death was due to a massive asthma attack. Griggs made her Broadway debut when she was six years old [...]

  • West End celling collapse

    Ceiling Collapse at 'Death of a Salesman' Leads to Theater Closure, Boycott Threats

    The West End revival of “Death of a Salesman” has moved into a temporary space after parts of the ceiling of Piccadilly Theatre collapsed during a Wednesday night performance. Five audience members sustained minor injuries and were taken to area hospitals. The theater will remain closed for the rest of the week. In the meantime, [...]

  • Tina review

    Broadway Review: 'Tina'

    “Now, that’s what I call a Broadway show!” That’s what the stranger sitting next to me at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater yelled into my ear at the roof-raising finale of “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.” I’d say he nailed it. Call “Tina” a jukebox musical or a bio-musical or anything you want to call it, but [...]

  • Cyrano review Peter Dinklage

    Off Broadway Review: 'Cyrano' Starring Peter Dinklage

    It’s pride and not panache that drives this overly spare and gloomy musical adaptation of that classic tale of unrequited love and honor, “Cyrano de Bergerac.” Despite a mesmerizing performance by Peter Dinklage, hot off “Game of Thrones,” and a haunting score by members of the band The National, this “Cyrano” is so reductive — [...]

  • Armie Hammer

    Armie Hammer, Jessie Mueller to Star in Broadway Production of Tracy Letts' 'The Minutes'

    Armie Hammer and Jessie Mueller will lead the cast of “The Minutes,” the Broadway production of a new play by Tracy Letts. The play seems tailor-made for these politically polarized times. It dissects a particularly contentious city council meeting, one in which the hypocrisy, greed, and ambition of various community members bubbles up to the [...]

  • Lightning Thief Broadway musical

    Listen: How 'The Lightning Thief' Creators Aim to Diversify Broadway

    “The Lightning Thief” doesn’t look like most Broadway musicals. And according to its creators, that’s a good thing. Listen to this week’s podcast below: After all, the musical based on Rick Riordan’s hit series of YA novels can count itself as one of a number of new shows (“Slave Play,” “Be More Chill”) that are [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content