Monday, June 23, 2014


The popularity of the television show "The Big Bang Theory" has given geeks and nerds some well deserved status as mental geniuses.  Way before his time, playwright Larry Shue focused attention on one definite participant worthy of inclusion in this category when he penned his bizarre comedy "The Nerd."  The top grossing American play in London's West End in 1986, it is getting an airing courtesy of the Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin weekends until Saturday, July 19.

On the occasion of his 34th birthday, a promising young architect Willum Cubbert (Chris Brooks), is partying with his friends Tansy (Sandra Lee) and Axel (Rick Bennett), who also happen to be his tenants.  Willum's dinner party additionally includes his newest client Warnock Waldgrave (Russell S. Fish) who arrives with his wife (Nancy Ferene) and son Thor (Rick Scola) in tow.  Willum is designing his hotel but Warnock keeps changing and simplifying the blueprints.

Into this happy crowd crashes an unexpected guest Rick Steadman (James J. Moran) who saved Willum's life in Vietnam.  The two men have never met but in their letters  Willum invited Rick to come to him if he ever needed help.  What Rick, "The Nerd," does is turn Willum's life inside out and upside down.  He's a klutz, an interloper, a self-absorbed pest, an interferer of the first order and a wonderfully obnoxious bore.

What ensues is pure chaos.  Where else would you find a comedy that includes bribery, blue prints, a bottle of Jack Daniels, and broken crockery, cottage cheese and chalk, shoes and socks and salads and shishkabobs, not to mention telephone answering machines and tambourines and a temperamental gorilla.

How far will Willum's promise to help Rick stretch the bonds of loyalty and friendship?  How long can the million irritating things a day Rick manages to commit continue before Willum snaps?  Will any of Rick's shenanigans cause Willum to establish "the gumption" Tansy claims he needs or help Axel perform an "anonymous favor" even one time?  Kris McMurray presides over this zoo of a menagerie as the animals escape and run wild.

For tickets ($30), call the CT Cabaret Theatre, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at  No shows the weekend of July 4 and 5.  Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m. Don't forget to bring snacks to share or plan to purchase dessert and drinks on site.

Let the nerd devilishly work his way under your skin until you too call "uncle" and send him packing, after he clearly outstays his welcome.

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