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October 2008

Release Date: Oct. 24, 2008ASU Logo

‘The Nerd’ Crashes ASU Holiday Dinner Theatre Party

In the course of their lives, many people have made connections they wish they could sever. The Arts at ASU’s Holiday Dinner Theatre addresses such a connection in “The Nerd,” which runs Nov. 13-16 and Nov. 20-22, in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, 2602 Dena Drive.

Dinner will be served at 7 p.m., prior to the 8 p.m. play performances. A matinee performance is scheduled at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, with dinner served at 1 p.m.

Tickets are $12.50 for ASU students and activity card holders, $15 for non-ASU students and Arts@ASU subscribers and $20 general admission.

Written by Larry Shue, “The Nerd” looks in on the 34th birthday party of Willum Cubbert, whose life was saved by Rick Steadman in Vietnam after Willum was seriously wounded. Because of his injuries, Willum didn’t meet Rick but later writes to him to say that, as long as he is alive, “you will have somebody on Earth who will do anything for you.”

Rick shows up unexpectedly at Willum’s apartment on the night of his party. Willum is happy to see him until Rick proves to be a hopeless “nerd” with no social skills, intelligence or tact. On top of that, Rick lingers at the party, wedged in the middle of Willum’s social circle. His continued presence sparks a cascade of incidents and pushes Willum to contemplate violence.

Among Rick’s faux pas are asking for a special meal and then saying he is not hungry. He also sings terribly and tells incredibly boring stories, according to Dr. Bill Doll, director of the University Theatre.

He said the play is sometimes confused with the Steve Martin movie, “The Jerk,” but is a different situation.

“The Nerd” is a blast,” Doll said. “It moves along pretty well with a lot of crazy stuff going on. This is a great way to celebrate the holidays with dinner and a show.”

Along with “The Foreigner,” “The Nerd” is one of author Shue’s most famous plays. Shue died in a commuter plane crash in 1985 in Virginia when he was 39 years old.

Mason Cargile plays the title role, following up his performance as Charles Condomine in “Blithe Spirit,” last summer. The ASU junior drama major counts this and six other stage shows to his credit.

Keller O’Briant portrays the tormented host, Willum Cubbert. The freshman from San Angelo Central performed in eight shows in high school, including Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” and “Medea.” He served as the understudy for Baylor and Jake in “A Lie of the Mind” at ASU.

Also in the cast are Samantha Sandifer, who plays Tansy McGinnis, Arturo Garcia who portrays Axel Hammond, Nathaniel Shouse plays Warnock Waldgrave, Nicholas Neighbors as Thor Waldgrave and Laurie Proveaux plays Clelia Waldgrave.

They are joined in the production by standbys Will Barker, Norma Allie Perez, Matt Villa, Alex Addison, Mica McCook and Travis Morganstean.

Reservations are required and should be made no later than three days before the desired show by calling 942-2000 weekdays between 2-6 p.m.

For more information about “The Nerd,” call 942-2146.