Nobody’s talkin’ in the San Diego Rep’s world-premiere production of Everybody’s Talkin’: The Music of Harry Nilsson. The two-act show conceived by Steve Gunderson and Javier Velasco consists entirely of Gregory Jbara, Alice Ripley and Kurt Norby singing more than 50 Nilsson tunes, including a couple (like “Everybody’s Talkin’”) that he didn’t write but turned into hits. The question beckons: Why Harry Nilsson? A pop cult figure, perhaps, and a prolific songwriter, no doubt. But source of two hours of “theater”? The concept would be more appealing were it played as sheer nostalgia, staged in a ‘70s setting with the singers in tie dye duds, “smoking” doobies and taking all these songs a helluva lot less seriously.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat