St. Vincent opens summer season with return of 'The Nerd'
He's every host's worst nightmare: the awkward, ill-mannered guest who decides to move in — indefinitely. This potentially disastrous scenario plays out with hilarious results in “The Nerd,” the farce that opens the new season at St. Vincent Summer Theatre in Latrobe.
The play opens with mild-mannered architect Willum Cubbert struggling to deal with frustration in his love life and career. The girl he loves is about to move away, and he is designing a hotel for a difficult client. As if he needs more trouble, his life is turned upside down with the arrival of Rick Steadman, the man who saved his life in Vietnam 10 years earlier but whom he has never actually met. Steadman, the “Nerd” of the title, decides to stay with Willum for the foreseeable future and immediately begins to make his host's life miserable. Now, Willum has a new challenge: He must find the resolve to deal with Steadman along with the other problems in his life.
Director Colleen Reilly says that “The Nerd” is one of the theater's most-requested shows. When she first saw the play, she says, she was “captivated by the way it unfolded. It's a beautifully constructed show, with a beautifully set up and executed plot.”
The title role is played by Kevin Daniel O'Leary. “He's a versatile actor,” Reilly says. “He has a real fearlessness and a great imagination.”
Those qualities are put to good use as O'Leary portrays a character who is over-the-top annoying.
“He is completely oblivious to the fact that he's obnoxious and is making everyone uncomfortable, all the time,” O'Leary says. “He decides he's going to move in without really asking. He has a tambourine that he likes to play — a lot. He sings out loud late at night.”
If Willum manages to form a backbone and get rid of Rick, he just may win the love of Tansy, the woman with whom he shares a mutual but unfulfilled attraction. Tansy, played by Karen Baum, plans to leave their shared apartment and move to Washington, D.C., to pursue her goal of becoming a weather reporter. Baum describes her character as “a go-getter. She's sweet and torn between a career and love, and I understand her,” she says.
Rounding out the small cast are Alex Watson, who plays the beleaguered Willum; Tony Bingham as Willum's friend Axel; and Philip Winters, Renata Marino and Anthony Marino Jr. as Willum's clients, the Waldgrave family.
“The Nerd” is appropriate for audiences of all ages. “The humor is very accessible,” Reilly says. “It is one of those shows that people remember.”
After each evening performance other than the Thursday preview, the theater will offer its popular cabaret. The cabaret features live musical entertainment, drinks, hot dogs and popcorn.
Seats for all but the Thursday preview performance must be reserved in advance by calling the theater box office or making reservations online at www.svst.org.
Cynthia Bombach Helzel is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates analyst Kent Tekulve recovering after heart transplant
- Steelers’ Brown combats disruptive defensive ploys
- Steelers veteran defenders want young teammates to step up
- Crosby appreciates his relationship with Penguins fans
- New approach on offense has Pirates in playoff contention this season
- Teacher can pursue racial-discrimination claim against PPS
- Ferrante trial delayed another week
- Coroner: Heart attack caused Norvelt crash
- Pitt football coach Chryst refutes analyst Wannstedt’s opinion
- 2 top executives at Dick’s Sporting Goods retiring
- UPMC buying New Castle-based Jameson Health System