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The Nerd at NC Stage
April 7 @ 7:30 pm - April 23 @ 5:00 pm$14 - $28
Attic Salt Theatre Company presents the riotous comedy The Nerd
The Nerd, by Larry Shue
Produced by Attic Salt Theatre Company
at NC Stage Company as part of their Catalyst Series
Wednesdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:30pm
North Carolina Stage Company
15 Stage Lane, Asheville, NC
Attic Salt Theatre Company is proud to once again team up with NC Stage Company as part of their Catalyst Series for Larry Shue’s crazy comedy, The Nerd. Attic Salt is the company who last produced the acclaimed How I Learned to Drive in 2016 at 35below, as well as the hits God of Carnage and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. They’ve also previously partnered with NC Stage for 2015’s The Underpants and last year’s smash, All in the Timing. NC Stage is located at 15 Stage Lane in Downtown Asheville. The performances will be held Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:30pm, from April 7th through the 23rd. Tickets cost between 14 and 28 dollars and can be purchased through the NC Stage box office at ncstage.org or by calling 828-239-0263.
Although not as regularly produced as one of Larry Shue’s other farces, like The Foreigner, The Nerd remains one of the most-popular plays performed by regional and community theaters since its premiere in 1981. The show moved to Broadway in the late 80s, with Mark Hamill in the lead role. It has since been produced all over the world (including a West End version with Rowan Atkinson as the titular character) and was even turned into a sitcom in the 1990s.
Set in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1980, The Nerd is about Willum Cubbert, an unassuming young architect, and his friends Tansy and Axel. Their lives are completely upended with the unexpected arrival of Rick Steadman, the nerd of the title who saved Willum’s life in Vietnam. Rick’s complete lack of a filter and penchant for hilariously inappropriate behavior threaten Willum’s job, his friendships and his sanity. Will Willum find the “gumption” to reclaim his life from this tornado of a person?
Previous productions of The Nerd have garnered stellar reviews. Thomas Disch of The Nation wrote that the play “racks up more laughs, and louder, than any farce this side of Alan Ayckbourn.” Whereas Frank Rich of The New York Times said the play reminded him of “the cartoon world of Lucille Ball and Gale Gordon.”
Director Jeff Catanese says of the play, “This one has been on my radar for some time. I saw it about 25 years ago and still remember it as one of the funniest things I’d ever seen. Even thinking about all of the comedies I’ve seen since, it’s hard to think of a play that made me laugh more or harder.”
Sadly, the author, Larry Shue, died in an airplane crash before he could reach his full potential. However, he left behind this play as an enduring legacy of belly laughs.
The cast for The Nerd is composed of some local theater all-stars, Adam Arthur, Christy Montesdeoca, John Mendenhall, Frances Davis and Bill Parks, as well as a face new to the Asheville scene, Patrick Brandt, in the lead role as Willum. The play will also feature local child actors Eleanor Gorczynski and Anderson Bowman alternating in the role of Thor, “the poster child for planned parenthood.” The play will be directed by Jeff Catanese, Attic Salt’s Artistic Director, and stage managed by Nathan Singer.
Tickets for The Nerd are available now through the NC Stage box office at ncstage.org or by calling 828-239-0263.