Center Stage: ‘The Nerd’
The Theatre Conspiracy opened its holiday Season with Larry Shue’s zany-situation comedy titled “The Nerd.” It’s a simple premise that gets directly to the point of delightful absurdity. Architect Willum Cubbert (Todd Fleck) is having a 30th birthday party, thrown by his girlfriend Tansy McGinnis (Rachael Endrizzi) and their sharp-witted theater critic, neighbor Axel Hammond (Christopher Brant).
A surprise guest appears, and turns out to be Rick Steadman (Jordan Wilson); this is the guy who bravely saved Willun’s life during the war in Vietnam. They haven’t seen each other since that time, when they swore true comradeship and commitment to each other forever. When Willum hears from Rick he becomes really excited and pleased, to have him stay as a guest, for a while. That is until his lifesaver turns out to be an overgrown, over bearing, boorish, unwanted house guest. Rick’s nature is childlike and innocent, who turns out to be hard to dislike, thanks to the multitalented gifts and likeability of actor (Jordan Wilson). Wilson turns his “nerd” into a loveable, overgrown child, well-meaning but, nevertheless infuriating to everyone who comes in contact with him.
As Wilson’s long and lanky frame gleefully cavorts, like a human “Gumby”, all over the stage, he turns himself into the plus perfect, funny foil for Todd Fleck’s equally long-limbed but stiff, as a board, awkwardness. The sight gags between these two prancing about, is like watching, two giraffes doing a “dancing with the stars”, routine.
How and when to get rid of the nerd, is the question that provides most of the fun, embedded in this goofy, zany comedy.
Aside from the belly laughs derived from the sidesplitting antics of the Willum and Rick, chalk up high marks on the laugh meter for Jim Yarnes as Warnock Waldgrave aka Ticky, Willum’s major client and boss. Ticky is a bombastic loudmouth, who has no idea how to handle his rambunctious, whiney daughter Medusa (played to the whiney hilt by Helen Krupp) or his frustrated, plate smashing wife Clelia (the droll Helena Finnegan). Christopher Brant as the wry drama critic neighbor is a standout with his adept delivery of cutting witticism, while Rachael Endrizzi is wonderfully well cast as Tansy, Willum’s weather-girl girlfriend delivering zingers, while at the same time, initiating some comic chemistry connections, between her and her fella.
The production values of this show were spot on, as was the direction by Karen Goldberg. All in all the show is quite entertaining, which, after all is said and done was its primary task. So if you’re ready to find fun in a crazy situation then “The Nerd” is the show for you; and you can start the fun rolling, by phoning the Box Office at 936-3239. Performances are at 8 p.m. Dec.6, 7, 8,13,14,15 with a matinee at 2 p.m. Dec. 9.
Remind ’em when you phone that Marsha sent you.