Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody Reviews
Chicago Sun Times- Recommended
"...Music by Basil Winterbottom and book and lyrics by Bob and Tobly McSmith, "Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody" eventually gets around to celebrating Christmas and love with a jolly-holiday cheeriness that's tough to resist. But long before we get to that, it mocks all that is sexist and stupid about the movie. By the light of St. Nicholas, there is plenty of material. The McSmiths attack it with a so-wrong-its-right mix of intelligence and puerile pandering. Both are entertaining in director Tim Drucker's staging, which is campier than an ugly holiday sweater contest."
Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended
"...Yet this economy—which includes actors setting and clearing furniture and swapping wigs, costumes, and characters with agility—is to be admired. Packed with zingers and disparaging of the grand gestures “love” inspires towards people who are actually strangers, the result is absurd in premise and triumphant in achievement, self-aware, sassy, and sung brilliantly by a cast that flings their talents into the crowd with abandon, like so many Mardi Gras beads. Those who love Love Actually will have fun—those who hate it will have even more."
Splash Magazine- Recommended
"...One might wonder in what way Love Actually was a parody? Each cast member gave a theatrical brand of Academy Award performance, acted to the hilt, using exaggeration for the intended comedic effect. The couples presented comical perspectives of how people can, might, and do experience the thing called love. Love, the emotion that surpasses all other emotions, remained questionable and uncertain throughout the musical. However, the cast invited the audience to relax their minds and take a ride on the love train of laughter and amusement."
Let's Play at ChicagoNow- Somewhat Recommended
"...Although “Love Actually” does have some humorous parts in the movie, it’s more of a love story, which is why this parody needed to add several other films and real-life situations where actors ask the question, Why am I in this film? The Unauthorized Musical Parody should have simplified this production; instead, they took a risk that people would connect the dots, and to us, they struck out."
Around The Town Chicago- Recommended
"...We witness the cast playing many different roles through a series of cleverly-drawn and layered skits that initially don’t seem as if they have much to do with each other. We see actors rotate from one character to the next, with some characters making return appearances while others give cameo performances."
NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended
"...“Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody” shoots at the king of rom-com Christmas films and kills it. And we get to die of laughter.'
Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended
"...If you’ve seen the movie, as I had the just the day before I enjoyed this show, this theatrical satire will absolutely leave you in stitches. I suspect that even if the film is just a faint memory from the past, the savvy audience will recall the key moments parodied in this fast-paced production. And if you’ve never seen “Love Actually,” do yourself a favor and try to stream, rent or borrow it from the library beforehand. Then go see this show. You’ll get the most from this excellent production that way, although you could probably still enjoy this comedy with no absolutely knowledge of the movie. I was skeptical before I attended, but the writing, direction and a talented cast make for a delightful evening of sidesplitting slapstick. I look forward to seeing more of these parodies that are scheduled to play throughout year at the Apollo Theater. It’s really that good!"
Chicagoland Musical Theatre- Highly Recommended
"...Looking for laughs this holiday season? Look no further than the quick and clever Love, Actually?: The Unauthorized Musical Parody. The beloved British rom-com has become a Christmas classic after its release in 2003, with its sprawling ensemble cast of superstars and countless converging storylines. While that sprawl can make it difficult to recall the names of its many characters— surely too big an ask for a parody audience, at least— thankfully Love, Actually? sets no such expectation. Instead, each role is a caricature of the movie star who played the part in the film. Indeed, the six actors simply refer to each other as Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth— the list goes on…and on and on."
Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended
"...Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of “Love, Actually” (the movie), but you don’t have to be in order to enjoy the outrageous musical spoof (written by Bob and Tobly McSmith, the folks who brought you such productions as “Friends! The Musical Parody”) that is “Love, Actually?” All you need is some knowledge of some of the film’s iconic moments—which anyone within reach of a screen at some point during the last eighteen years probably has—and a desire to laugh as an incredibly talented cast sends them up."
PicksInSix- Highly Recommended
"...With the fast-paced hullabaloo execution of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, the musical parody Love, Actually? delivers character work harkening back to the genius of Forbidden Broadway, but with a punchier, indelicate wit. Based on the iconic holiday hit, writers Bob and Tobly McSmith resourcefully recreate the rom-com using the names of the actors who originated the roles of each character, resulting in comic gold. And Basil Winterbottom's music charmingly clips along, making sure that no gag or moment overstays its welcome."