"The Nerd," a comedy of mismatched personalities, will open the 45th Saint Vincent Summer Theatre season with a preview at 8:10 tonight in the Performing Arts Center of the Robert S. Carey Student Center on the campus in Unity.
" 'The Nerd' by playwright Larry Shue "is one of the most beloved shows we have ever done here," said director Colleen Reilly. It will be the company's fourth production of the play last performed eight years ago. Last year's season included the "The Foreigner," also by Mr. Shue.
The story opens with quiet architect Willum Cubbert trying to pull together his unraveling life as work becomes less satisfying and his girlfriend plans to move out. Enter Rick Steadman, a soldier who saved the unconscious Willum in Vietnam a decade earlier. Rick shipped out before the two could formally meet and Willum extended an open invitation by mail to visit. The joy Willum feels when he learns of Rick's planned visit dissipates after his rescuer arrives and turns out to be socially bumbling and obnoxious.
The show features Kevin Daniel O'Leary, a member of the company since 2009, as Rick Steadman. Willum Cubbert is played by Alex Walton who made his debut as a villain in last year's "The Foreigner." Willum's girlfriend, Tansy McGinnis, will be played by Karen Baum, one of the divas in the 2012 "Suite Surrender."
Philip Winters, who portrayed Art Rooney Sr. in "The Chief" last summer, will portray Warnock Waldgrave. He has been acting at the college theater for almost two decades. Renata Marino, who plays Clelia Waldgrave, has also been with the company for 20 years.
New to the stage are Tony Bingham as Axel Hammond and Anthony Marino Jr. as Thor Waldgrave. Mr. Bingham's character is described as having all the zingy lines. Anthony is only 13 but already has stage and film experience. His parents are Tony and Renata Marino of Stage Right in Greensburg.
Additional "Nerd" performances will be given at 8:10 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Tuesday through June 8 and June 11-15, and at 2:10 p.m. June 5 and June 9.
The season also includes "Too Many Cooks," June 20 to July 6, "I Love a Piano," July 11 to 27; and "Lend Me a Tenor," Aug. 1 to 18.
"Too Many Cooks," a farce by Douglas Hughes and Marcia Kash, will receive its regional premiere at the college theater. Set in 1932, the story revolves around bootlegging and smuggling in Niagara Falls, Canada, a result of Prohibition in the U.S.
"I Love a Piano" is a celebration of the music of Irving Berlin conceived and written by Ray Roderick and Michael Berkeley. Actors sing and dance "Blue Skies," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "There's No Business Like Show Business" and other memorable hits.
"Lend Me a Tenor," by Ken Ludwig, returns to the local stage after a decade. The cast includes a world-famous tenor, a stand-in whose meteoric rise takes a dive, a jealous wife, sweet daughter and seductive leading lady in a laugh-filled tale of deception and resolve.
Seats are reserved at all performances except Thursday evening previews, which are general admission. Individual tickets are $10 for previews, $19 Tuesday through Thursday evenings, $22 Friday and Saturday evenings, and $16 for matinees. Student tickets are $10. A $2 senior (62 or older) discount is available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Group rates for 20 or more and four- and three-show subscription plans are available.
Reservations may be made, or a season brochure requested, at 724-537-8900 or visit www.svst.org. Free van shuttle service will be provided to and from parking areas adjacent to the Saint Vincent Basilica.
A free post-show cabaret is held after all performances except Thursday previews and matinees. Students serve snacks, hot dogs and beverages and provide entertainment.
The 24th annual Summer Theatre Gala, an evening of gourmet food and professional theater, will begin at 6:30 p.m. July 12 in the Robert Carey Center. Jim and Maureen Laffey of Carnegie are co-chairpersons. Tickets are $125 and proceeds benefit the theater. For more, call 724-805-2901.
Mary Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1925.