The Terre Haute, Indiana apartment of aspiring architect Willum Cubbert will be the setting for Waterworks Players production of The Nerd, a comedy Variety says“…the audience almost never stops laughing” and the Milwaukee Tribune calls “…a spring tonic of side-bruising laughter…”.
Jordan Whiley is cast as Vietnam veteran Willum Cubbert, a young professional with a promising career. For years he has told friends about Rick Steadman, played by Brandon Nuckols, a fellow ex-GI whom he has never met but saved his life after he was seriously wounded in Vietnam. Willum has written Rick to say that, as long as he is alive, “you will have somebody on Earth who will do anything for you.”
Willum is delighted when Rick unexpectedly crashes his apartment on the night of his thirty-fourth birthday party given by his friend Axel (Joe Brown), and his girlfriend Tansy (Elizabeth Whiley). Also celebrating are client and hard-nosed businessman Warnock Waldgrove (Robert Webber), his wife Clelia (Mary Jo Stockton), and their son Thor (Ross Baldwin).
Initially the group is excited to meet Rick. Everyone, however, soon discovers that he is a hyperactive and socially inept nerd. Willum refuses to throw him out; after all, the guy DID save his life. After Rick has been living with Willum for a week and is wreaking havoc on his life, Willum agrees to Axel’s plan of making up a crazy evening of “traditional” Terre Haute fun, hoping that Rick will leave on his own when he sees how strange they are. This backfires and makes the situation worse.
Written by Larry Shue, The Nerd is a work destined to join the ranks of classic comedies of the late 20th century, right behind some of Neil Simon’s better works according to critic Leigh Kennicott. Shue, who was also a talented actor, had his career cut short at the age of 39 by the crash of a commuter plane in Weyer’s Cove, Virginia, in 1985. In addition to writing The Nerd, Shue left behind a small but celebrated body of work including a children’s musical, My Emperor’s New Clothes, a one-act comic memoir about his college years, Grandma Duck is Dead, a bittersweet political drama, Wenceslas Square, set in 1974 Prague after the Soviet invasion, and the comic achievement The Foreigner.
According to Director Dudley Sauve, “The Nerd addresses how talented people sometimes become too comfortable. It also says something about friendship, of being cruel to be kind. But most of all, this production will make you laugh.”
Be sure to see The Nerd. Tickets are $10. Performances are at 8:00 pm on June 10, 11, 17, and 18. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 434-392-3452 or visiting the Waterworks web site: http://waterworksplayers.org.
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