Review Roundup: THE NERD at Milwaukee Rep - What Did the Critics Think?
Starring Rep favorites Michael Doherty (A Christmas Carol, Man of La Mancha) as Rick Steadman, Alex Keiper (Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, Assassins) as Tansy McGinnis, Andy Nagraj (Forever Plaid) as Willum Cubbert and Lillian Castillo (In the Heights, Why Do Fools Fall in Love) as Clelia Waldgrave and featuring Rep newcomers Chris Mixon (The Foreigner, Utah Shakespeare Festival) as Warnock Waldgrave and Jeremy Peter Johnson (Oklahoma!, Skylight Music Theatre) as Axel Hammond. Introducing young local performers Charlie Cornell from Elm Grove and Damon McCoy from Milwaukee sharing the role of Thor Waldgrave.
Let's see what the critics are saying...
Kelsey Lawler, BroadwayWorld: The entire play, though often absurd, somehow also remains grounded, setting this farce apart from others. Willum and Tansy engage in a romantic will-they-won't-they for an undercurrent that's sweet and real. Together with Axel, these three seem like a normal, good-natured trio of friends, the kind you'd want to sit around, laugh, and drink with on a Friday night.
Brianna Schubert, UWM Post: "The Nerd" offered many characters who were caricatures of real life yet just slightly relatable enough to feel for them. The title character was the over-the-top and ridiculous "nerd," Rick Steadman, played by Michael Doherty. It was hard to not be completely annoyed with this character, but nonetheless, the audience ate up every joke, every tambourine number and every drawn-out "ya-know." If the point was to make the entire audience want to simultaneously listen to and kick out Rick Steadman, then Doherty wholeheartedly got the job done.
Harry Cherkinian, Shepherd Express: As the nerd, Michael Doherty makes Steadman a believable and, at times, sympathetic character given how out of touch and out of step he is with the world around him, and the rest of the cast falls right into place. As sharp-tongued, too-witty theater critic Axel Hammond, Jeremy Peter Johnson is a standout. His comedic timing and nonverbal gestures keep the show running on high voltage. The clever plot twist at the end still works as well today as did so many years ago.