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The Nerd

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  327 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Now an aspiring young architect in Terre Haute, Indiana, ex-GI 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 ...more
Paperback, 72 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (first published 1981)
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Colleen Deitrich To basically give Willum the balls to quit his shitty job to follow his crush to DC and begin a relationship with her. Once he had more than enough of…moreTo basically give Willum the balls to quit his shitty job to follow his crush to DC and begin a relationship with her. Once he had more than enough of The Nerd, he grew a pair, threw his butt out, and realized he can get what he wants if he;s strong enough to go for it.(less)

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Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: somedaydirect
Fun, funny, and suspenseful! And motivational! I can't wait to direct this!
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
The play's humor, although funny, in its context it is uncomfortable.

Most likely it’ll pass over older patrons’ head who may not care // be educated on the states of the mentally ill, and there is a twist at the end that could lead the audience to forgive the context of the humor, but the majority of the play's humor is about the extrication of an abandoned mentally ill war hero from the main character's home simply because he's annoying // weird // can't interact with other humans, and at no p
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the funniest plays of modern times. It's a laugh out loud read; must be hysterical on stage.
Nomad nimrod
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
Funny and I liked the ending.
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Willum is a successful young architect who won't commit to his girlfriend as much as his career, and so she's about to move on. Still, she likes him, and with their glibly funny theater critic friend Axel has prepared a surprise birthday party. But Willum is a Vietnam vet (the story is set in the early 80s), whose life was saved by a man he never met, Rick Steadman. As the party is about to start, the trio discover that Rick is on his way for a visit. When he arrives, it turns out that Rick is a ...more
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 20, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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