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‘The Nerd’ offers laughs, strong storyline

Expect to laugh during Piedmont Players Theatre’s production of Larry Shue’s “The Nerd.”
“It’s traditionally considered one of the funniest plays written in the past 25 or 30 years,” Director Reid Leonard said.
Leonard said Piedmont Players performed Shue’s “hysterically funny” play “The Foreigner” several years ago.
“These are the only two plays he ever wrote because he died in a plane crash,” he said.
“The Nerd” centers on architect Willum Cubbert, played by Edward Whitney, who is drafted into the Korean War and then gets shot on his first day of service.
Leonard said Cubbert is saved by a man named Rick Steadman, played by Andy Abramson, who he never meets.
Cubbert invites Steadman to drop by if he’s ever around and he does just that.
“He’s a nerd, he’s an idiot,” Leonard said. “And as they say, hilarity ensues.
“It’s just silly fun, every now and then you just need to laugh.”
Josh Wainwright, who plays Axel Hammond, said the humor is not “intelligent, over the head comedy.”
“In the end you go ‘Wow,’” he said. “It’s a really neat story.”
Whitney said at its core “The Nerd” is about identifying what you want out of life.
“It’s a quick comedy with lots of lovable characters and lots of great punchlines,” he said.
Abramson has a unique perspective on the play. His 8-year-old daughter, Miles, is one of the seven cast members.
“It’s been a very rewarding experience being able to do this with my daughter,” he said. ‘It will be something we remember forever.
“It’s a unique way to bond and we’re both doing something we love.”
Miles, a rising third-grader at Faith Elementary, plays Thor.
“One thing I can say is Thor is a big monster child,” she said. “I like yelling and that’s pretty much all Thor does.
“It’s been fun to fit into the character.”
“The Nerd” opens at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday, July 25 and runs through August 3.

Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.

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