‘Nerd’ won’t wear out welcome with audience
De Soto High School students to present comedy Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Ross Stone jokes that he may have been typecast, but the De Soto High School junior is having a good time playing the namesake role in the school's production of "The Nerd."
"It's just so much fun to be in the play," Stone said. "It's not an ordinary play; it's extremely funny."
Playing the quintessential dork in thick-rimmed glasses with a swatch of masking tape stuck in the center, Stone will join a cast of fellow Wildcat actors in their performance of "The Nerd" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the De Soto High School theater.
De Soto High School drama teacher Ben Bartlett said he chose to direct "The Nerd," a two-act comedy by Larry Shue, because he was familiar with the script and because he hoped the humor would be a draw for all audiences, even those who don't usually attend plays.
Shue also penned "The Foreigner," another popular, funny play, Bartlett said.
"The Nerd" is set in the home of Willum Cubbert, played by junior Lucas Walker.
The Nerd, whose name is Rick Steadman, once saved Cubbert's life in the Vietnam War. For decades, the two stay loosely in touch through letters.
Unbeknownst of his lifesaver's increasingly uncouth and uncool behavior, Cubbert generously extends an open-door policy to Steadman if he should ever need a place to stay.
Sure enough, Cubbert receives a call on his birthday. As he has a standing invitation, Steadman shows up and ruins Cubbert's day, to say the least.
The Nerd arrives in a monkey suit and wonders why everyone else isn't in costume.
He shuns the very food he just asked to have specially prepared, dominates discussion by talking about his life as a chalk inspector and insists everyone participate in a game that involves removing their shoes and socks, then humming songs with paper bags over their heads.
When all of Cubbert's friends finally storm out in disgust, Steadman remains, thrilled that he has the couch to himself.
Stone said one reason audiences would laugh at "The Nerd" was because most people could relate to being stuck with annoying company from time to time.
"Everybody has had a guest that stayed too long," Stone said.
"I think they'll just get great entertainment -- and lots of giggles."
Junior Sheridan Thompson plays Warnock Waldgrave, a less-annoying party guest, in the show.
Performing in his first play, Sheridan said practicing for "The Nerd" forced him to work on his stage presence.
"This was very tough because it's a comedy," Thompson said. "I'll laugh at just about everything."
Ticket prices for "The Nerd" are $3 for students or senior citizens and $5 for adults.
Seats are on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will be for sale at the door but may be reserved in advance by calling 583-8370 ext. 3029.