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The Nerd

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  231 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Now an aspiring young architect in Terre Haute, Indiana, Willum Cubbert has often told his friends about the debt he owes to Rick Steadman, a fellow ex-GI whom he has never met but who saved has life after he was seriously wounded in Vietnam. He has written to Rick to say that, as long as he is alive, "you will have somebody on Earth who will do anything for you" so Willum ...more
Paperback, 72 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (first published January 1st 1984)
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Well done, Mr. Shue. Well done.

A play that is funny even when read (and I'm certain down-right hysterical when seen), and one that affords each actor a chance to shine, even if it is for mere moments.

Willum Cubbert is a role which requires the actor to take on long monologues (he has three) and hold the show on his shoulders without actually drawing attention to himself. It requires preternatural emotional intelligence, often necessitating the expression of multiple emotions simultaneously with
Stephanie Griffin
Larry Shue’s play THE NERD was written in 1980 – back before cell phones – when we were using answering machines instead of voicemail to communicate with each other. This is important, as an answering machine plays a central part in this really funny play. The nerd is Rick Steadman, a man who saved the life of fellow soldier Willum Cubbert in Viet Nam. The grateful Cubbert writes to Steadman and in his appreciation says that he owes him everything.
THE NERD has been presented from Milwaukie (wher
Eric Kibler
The world lost a great comedic voice when Larry Shue died in a plane crash back in the eighties. Two of his plays, "The Nerd" and "The Foreigner" are the gold standard in theatrical belly laughs. Shue, laugh for laugh, makes Neil Simon look like the MacNeil/Lehrer Report.

Willum Cubbert is a rising young architect in Terre Haute, IN who gets a call from Rick Steadman, who saved his life in Vietnam. Since he was unconscious while being rescued, he never actually saw what Rick looked like. Anyway,
Kristin Koski
Fun, funny, and suspenseful! And motivational! I can't wait to direct this!
The story is a little dated, now, but a lot of scenes are still very dramatic. And funny. I was trying to pick out a character that I'd like to be, if I were cast in this show, and I think I could do a good Rick Steadman, but being Axel Hammond would be a lot of fun, too. My face is probably too expressive to be Warnock Waldgrave, but that role has some really great dry humor, too.

The version of the book I read has a few pictures from the productions of the play. Plays are best seen rather than
Pretty funny, this one, though I think I prefer Larry Shue's "The Foreigner." In both plays, there is an odd duck, a fella that doesn't quite fit in. In "The Foreigner," Charlie was darling, and endeared himself to the audience easily. In "The Nerd", however, the title character Rick was SO obnoxious, I could easily see audiences feeling really uncomfortable with his presence . . . which, I suppose, was Shue's purpose in creating him. Perhaps it's just that I personally don't care for that much ...more
Feb 22, 2010 Betsy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: comedic actors
Shelves: read-in-2010
I banged this out in a few hours and of all the plays I've read it's definitely one of them. I found myself tripping over the character names in addition to feeling like the exposition was dropped on me like a ton of bricks. There was less unfolding of story line and more trying to quench my thirst by drinking from the fire hose. I know comedies tend to be fast paced, but at the same time they're only funny if the audience gets to laugh. I am excited to see this directed well.
Very, very funny play! It made me laugh out loud many times, chuckle frequently, and I smiled almost the entire time. There is an odd mix of emotions: on one hand, I was extremely frustrated for Willum who had to endure all of Steadman's antics, but on the other hand, the situations were so funny that I could not help but laugh. And the turn of event at the end? Wonderful! This would be such a fun show to see performed!
Funny, would probably be entertaining on the stage. Some parts of the story felt very contrived and I found the final twist a bit far-fetched.
Myca Irvine
Cullen and I went to this play 5 or 6 years ago and we still laugh about it. I got my hands on a copy and cried due to laughing so hard.
dated comedy about forgiveness, and relationships, and self worth. cute! good scenes for man/woman.
Very clever. Great comedic writing. Nice twist at the end. Wish I could produce it, but no.
Shans McClellan
Just finished reading this with my high school Drama kids. I want to direct it. Like, right now.
One of my favorite plays, it a light comedy but it is enjoyable just reading it.
Aug 10, 2007 Sara rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
Typical Larry Shue humor. Again, not my kind of funny, but amusing. 2 women, 5 Men.
James Dutcher
Read this a long time ago. Never saw it performed. Larry Shue was REALLY FUNNY.
This is a play that DSHA will be putting on later this year. Really funny.
Hilarious! One of the funniest and witty comedies ever written.
Sarah Kleist
I loved these characters! Hilarious, laugh out loud read. So funny.
Enna Isilee (Squeaky Books)
FUNNY! And great twist ending.
Dave Cotton
Acted int his twice. A VERY funny play.
Chris a librarian
I hope it plays as well as it reads.
Alex Stypula
Hilarious, extremely clever
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