New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Big News! Emily Mann to retire as McCarter Theatre's Artistic Director following 2019-2020 season
Click here for the story!

REVIEW: The Nerd at George Street Playhouse Is Hilarious!

By Gary Wien

originally published: 04/30/2018

REVIEW: The Nerd at George Street Playhouse Is Hilarious!

(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) — George Street Playhouse is closing out their season with The Nerd by Larry Shue.  The production, which runs now through May 20th, features an amazing cast in an extremely funny comedy. The first act is simply hysterical.  The second is comic genius.  You seriously can’t help but laugh out loud at this wonderful comedy directed by Kevin Cahoon.

It’s difficult to say too much about the play because it truly is one you need to experience and see the plot twists and turns for yourself, but it’s your classic “house guest who would not leave” story.  In this case, Willum (played by Colin Hanlon who returns to George Street for the first time in about a decade) is turning 34 and his friends Axel (Zach Shaffer) and Tansy (Kate Reinders) are throwing him a party.

The play is set in Indiana in the early 1980s.  Willum is an architect currently working on a hotel project he hates; Axel is a theatre critic; and Tansy is a television weather reporter.  After returning home and getting ready for the party, Willum checks his answering machine.  There are messages from friends who say they can’t make the party, a message from a guy who has been seeking to hire Willum for a new project, and one from Rick Steadman.  The latter takes Willum by surprise. 

REVIEW: The Nerd at George Street Playhouse Is Hilarious!

Rick Steadman was the guy who saved Willum’s life in Vietnam.  Willum never saw Rick’s face, but got his address and exchanged cards with him over the years.  He told Rick that if he ever needed anything - anything at all from money to a place to stay - he should visit him.  Willum believed he owed everything to the man who saved his life.  Suddenly his voice was on the answering machine saying he was stopping by. 

The first guests to the party were Waldgrave (the man Willum is currently building a hotel for, played by Stephen Wallem), his wife Clelia (played by Ann Harada), and their son Thor (played by Hayden Bercy) who appears to be on a regiment of one too many Ritalin pills per day.



The article continues after this ad

 


Let’s just say Rick Steadman turns out to be very different from what any them expected him to be… Played by Jonathan Kite (TV’s 2 Broke Girls), Steadman is a true nerd who works as a chalk inspector for a factory in Wisconsin and is “learning” how to play the tambourine.  His appearance throws the party for a loop and heavily upsets Waldgrave and his wife, while likely sending their son into therapy.

REVIEW: The Nerd at George Street Playhouse Is Hilarious!

The Nerd is an absolutely brilliant physical comedy.  It’s full of sight gags and is a throwback to the zany plays we don’t seem to see anymore.  Jonathan Kite is outstanding as the nerdish Rick Steadman - a character so annoying that you can’t keep your eyes off of him to see what he might do next.  Colin Hanlon makes a very welcome return to George Street, portraying a character that has to endure a wide range of emotions; and Kate Reinders (Tansy) is wonderful as a midwestern girl who loves Willum but is about to leave for a job in Washington, DC. She reminds me of Kristin Chenoweth as she says all sort of old-timey things like “gumption” and tries to be a good host for the party.

Zach Shaffer as Axel is the king of stark and steals nearly every scene he utters a line. Stephen Wallem (Waldgrave), Ann Harada (Clelia), and Hayden Bercy (Thor) have an absolutely perfect look for this play. Their body language hilariously nails the look of a family caught up in a party unlike anything they’ve ever experienced. 

REVIEW: The Nerd at George Street Playhouse Is Hilarious! 

As usual George Street has designed a beautiful set for Willum’s apartment. They also wisely utilize lighting to emphasize a few scenes, creating a world beyond the one set living room - giving it just enough variety to make it interesting.

Director Kevin Cahoon provides The Nerd with excellent pace — words flow quickly, but not too quickly. The banter among the characters is easy to follow, even with a myriad of one-liners thrown throughout.  The play runs about two hours (with one intermission) and feels like the right length. Best of all, the surprise twists and turns will take you for a ride throughout the entire show.  George Street could not have come up with a better show to end the season.  Highly recommended! Get tickets while you can.

The Nerd runs now through May 20th at George Street Playhouse, 103 College Farm Road in New Brunswick, NJ.

REVIEW: The Nerd at George Street Playhouse Is Hilarious!

PHOTOS BY T. CHARLES ERICKSON




For more by this author, click here






Circle Players Presents "After The Revolution"
(PISCATAWAY, NJ) -- Circle Players presents After the Revolution by Amy Herzog, weekends from February 1st to February 17th. The production is directed by Alicia Harabin. In the play, Emma Joseph is a bright, hard-working, law school graduate continuing her family’s business of fighting for progressive ideals. 
Black Box PAC Presents "Significant Other"
(TEANECK, NJ) -- Black Box PAC's first main stage show of 2019 is Significant Other by Joshua Harmon. BBPAC is no stranger to Harmon’s work, as one of the first hits at the Black Box Performing Arts Center was Harmon’s hit Bad Jews. Significant Other follows the perpetually single Jordan Berman and his trio of girl friends as they navigate dating, relationships, and supporting those you love. Performances run from January 24 to February 10th.
The Theater Project Presents 5th Annual One-Act Play Competition
(MAPLEWOOD, NJ) -- Which play will be voted Audience Favorite – the romance, the thriller, or the comedy?  And which author will take the $500 Judge’s Award?
Dreamcatcher Presents World Premiere of "Psychodrama"
(SUMMIT, NJ) -- Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre will present the World Premiere of Psychodrama by Montclair playwright Phoebe Farber. This seriocomedy unfolds in a divorce support group where a new leader introduces unorthodox methods that just might work. Psychodrama runs February 14-March 3.
Centenary Stage Presents Henrik Ibsen's "Enemy Of The People"
(HACKETTSTOWN, NJ) -- Randall Duk Kim and Anne Occhiogrosso headline Centenary Stage Company’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, February 15 through March 3 in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center, Hackettstown, New Jersey. Adapted by John Alan Wyatt and directed by Anne Occhiogrosso, the production will feature Randall Duk Kim as Doctor Thomas Stockmann supported by an acting company of professional and local talent from the tri-state area and Centenary University. The full-scale production marks the culmination of the 2018 Gates Ferry Lecture Series: “What is Truth?”


Emmy-Winning South Oranger, Andre Braugher
​​​​​​​“I’m Andre Braugher and I’m here at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, SOPAC, rehearsing a new play by Julia Doolittle called ‘Tell Them I’m Still Young.’”
Laiona Michelle Talks About "Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical"
This might be the right time for Nina Simone—15 years after her death. That’s what Laiona Michelle thinks, and, in a way, Michelle will be testing that idea by bringing the singer-activist to life in a world-premiere musical show at George Street Playhouse. Michelle wrote the show—“Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical”—and she will appear in the title role at the New Brunswick theater from January 29 through February 24.
It's "Apple Season" at NJ Rep
Every family has stories. Some are funny. Some are sweet. Some are sad. And some are never shared. Those are often the most powerful.
Rise of the Goatman
Theater For The New City presents Beltsville/Rockville, Part 1: Rise of the Goatman, an original play by Englewood resident Matt Okin (Artistic Director of Black Box Studios), from December 27 through January 13. In this pseudo-Southern Gothic dark comedy, a vibrant group of teens from two very different suburban neighborhoods clash over class differences, drugs, and sex - and the existence of the legendary ‘Goatman’ in 1986. Cut to 2013, and the adolescent kids of those very same teens are struggling to make sense of their family histories - and the same “mythological” creature - that could be holding them back in life.
PHOTOS from "The Winter's Tale" at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
(MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s concludes its 56th season with its sixth and final Main Stage production, The Winter's Tale. Last seen at The Shakespeare Theatre in 2008, Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directs this production of Shakespeare’s tragicomedic romance. Veteran company members Jacqueline Antaramian, Jon Barker, Erin Partin, John Keabler, Raphael Nash Thompson,Seamus Mulcahy, Patrick Toon, and Ames Adamson are among a cast of 20 actors. Performances run now through December 30. 






Event calendar
Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019

Sorry, no events listed for today.
Here are some upcoming events.


2019-01-23
Rechnitz Halls DiMattio Gallery, Monmouth University @ 10:00am
West Long Branch

2019-01-23
Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University @ 7:30pm
West Long Branch

2019-01-24
New Jersey Repertory Company @ 8:00pm
Long Branch








 






















For more on our awards, click here








New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.