MILWAUKEE REPERTORY THEATER
NOVEMBER 12, 2019 – DECEMBER 15, 2019
By Larry Shue
Directed by JC Clementz
Scenic Design: Arnel V. Sancianco
Costume Design: Misti Bradford
Lighting Design: Lee Fiskness
Sound Design: Pornchanok Kanchanabanca
"The Nerd is getting a revival through December 15 at the Quadracci Powerhouse and is the fastest, riskiest and most polished version in my experience ... Clementz ramps up the pace and timing and makes every entrance and exit by the gathering party a moment of droll anticipation. His staging is clever and his cast enlivens the stereotypes – the sarcastic best friend, the fist-clenched mother, the blustery bossy father – with brash bits or booming voices. This is high wire farce, heavily reliant on an audience primed to go along, with a cast and director who know how to prime them."
"The Nerd is as funny and fresh as ever … Director JC Clementz honed his comedic skills with past Rep shows like Murder for Two and The Doyle & Debbie Show in the intimate Stackner Cabaret. Now in the much larger Quadracci Powerhouse Theater, he’s been given plenty of space to use every bit of the stage for all the visual gags that abound in The Nerd."
"This production, under the sparkling baton of JC Clementz, made me laugh in the simplest way possible ... It is absolutely the best easy funny show you can see and the perfect tonic for a world going nuts all around us. If everything were this simple, life would be a lot more fun. I walked out of the theater whistling that famous song from Gypsy that asks, 'May We Entertain You?'"
-Dave Begel on Theater
"The entire play, though often absurd, somehow also remains grounded, setting this farce apart from others. Willum and Tansy engage in a romantic will-they-won't-they for an undercurrent that's sweet and real. Together with Axel, these three seem like a normal, good-natured trio of friends, the kind you'd want to sit around, laugh, and drink with on a Friday night. To bring these characters to life, The Rep has assembled an excellent ensemble."
"Back when Larry Shue wrote The Nerd, which the Milwaukee Repertory Theater premiered in 1981, that title word was an insult, not the sort of compliment it is today. Under JC Clementz's direction, the Rep opened its fourth production of one of its greatest hits Friday evening, a production that once again makes a nerd someone you want to run away from, not someone you invite to give a Tedx talk… [Michael] Doherty makes Steadman a perfect blend of obnoxious and funny, with an occasional poignant moment, too. Of course people laugh at the grade-school stuff — a toilet-paper tail sticking out of the pants, wiping snot on the furniture. But his line readings are excellent, too, and sometimes so subtle. Doherty can now say he's joined the select club of actors who triumphed in this role."
-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel