We all tend to have a “nerdy” side to us at times, although we may not want to admit it. The Black Fox Theatre is excited to announce their spectacular comedy, The Nerd. Directed by Mary Reynar, The Nerd took place on August 9th at The Athenaeum Theatre’s Studio Two.
The Nerd takes place in November of 1979 in Terre Haute, Indiana. During the 70’s, people had a more relaxed attitude toward things. People tended to be more open and trust worthy during this era. Friends, families and neighbors did not hesitate to walk into someone’s home without knocking or help themselves to food. Technology was not nearly as advanced as it is today. An old school rotary telephone lay next to a newer invention, called the answering machine, which ends up playing a significant role.
We meet a young man by the name of Willum Cubbart (Jason Hammond) who is greeted with a “Happy Birthday” by his girlfriend Tansy (Jasmine Ryan) and best friend Axel Hammond (Phillip Aman). Willum is an architect who builds his life around his work. He is torn between staying at a job that he is constantly being ridiculed or going to Washington with his girlfriend Tansy.
Willium finds out through the answering machine that Rick Stedman (Guy Wick) is planning a surprise visit. What he does not realize is that Rick decides to make his grand entrance during his birthday party. Willum has never met Rick before and feels a sense of loyalty to him for saving his life during the Vietnam War. Willum is left with the unfortunate decision to allow Rick to stay with him, which although may be torturing at times, could end up being the best decision of his life.
Tansy McGinnis shows off the 70’s era with her fluorescent colored dresses often worn throughout that time period. Her love for Willum is true. However, Tansy continues to fight her heart in search of pursuing her dream as a weather girl.
Guy Wick plays the character of Rick Stedman who is a naive and loveable character. Rick enters Willum’s apartment wearing a green monster costume with the intentions of attending a costume party. However, Willum’s guests are baffled by this enormous creature walking through the door and the celebration is interrupted. Willum finally gets the opportunity to meet Rick for the first time and is shocked by Rick’s unconventional ways.
Rick has a tendency not to comply with social cues. For example, he sits entirely too close to people while on the couch and asks Tansy to make him something different for dinner. He continues to take over Willum’s life as he moves his suitcase and obnoxious tambourine into his apartment. Although Rick stayed for only six days, it felt like an eternity until his departure. He manages to get Willum fired from his job which ends up being a blessing in disguise.
Axel Hammond is Willum’s best friend and looks out for him and Tansy throughout the show. His subtle sarcasm and continuous drinking from a Jack Daniel’s bottle creates a funny and loose atmosphere. Axel see’s the frustration in young Willum’s face and devises a plan with Tansy to get rid of Rick for good.
Warnock “Ticky” Waldgrave (John Wilson) owns eight hotels and has hired Willum on as his architect. Ticky has the unfortunate pleasure of being Rick’s “punching bag” with the foolish antics that take place during Rick’s made up game of “Shoes and Socks”. This unconventional game leaves Ticky frustrated. His lack of patience with Rick’s wacky actions creates tension between Willum and leads to an unfortunate circumstance.
While Clelia Waldgrave (Shawna Tucker) is your old fashioned school teacher, she is unable to control her son. She portrays herself as a calm and loving mother, with her hair pulled up in a bun and her plain flowered pattern dress. However, we begin to see how her obnoxious son is causing her to have strange behaviors. She is seen breaking objects throughout Willum’s house in order to bring relief.
Although Jack Edwards is only a third grader, he takes on the role of young Thor Waldgrave who was born to act. Thor is a rambunctious child and what you would call your typical “spoiled brat”. His wild and curious personality keeps his parents on edge throughout the play. When he arrives at Willum’s, Thor flies into the apartment like Superman with a cape around his neck and the chaos begins. You can immediately tell Thor’s parents cannot handle their out of control son, which creates anger and anxiety in his parents.
Performances of this wonderful production of The Nerd will take place from August 9th through September 1st at 8pm, Thursday to Saturday. There will be matinee shows on Sunday’s beginning at 2pm. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at http://athenaeumtheatre.org or by calling the Athenaeum Box Office at (773) 935-6875. The Athenaeum Theatre can be found at 2936 N. Southport Ave. Chicago,IL.