Sean Hayes, Gregory Jbara, Chad Kimball, Darren Ritchie Are Nerds in L.A. Test of Musical

News   Sean Hayes, Gregory Jbara, Chad Kimball, Darren Ritchie Are Nerds in L.A. Test of Musical
 
"Will & Grace" TV star Sean Hayes will play Bill Gates in a private industry reading of Nerds://A Musical Software Satire, in Brentwood, CA, July 30, Playbill.com has learned.
Sean Hayes
Sean Hayes

The reading is a next-step for the well-reviewed musical about the rivalry between computer industry giants Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, and reflects rewrites since earlier public presentations.

The show by lyricist-librettists Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner (2007 Emmy Award nominees for "Robot Chicken") and composer Hal Goldberg was seen in developmental form at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2005 and had its world premiere by Philadelphia Theatre Company in 2006-07.

The Brentwood reading cast also includes Gregory Jbara (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as IBM's Tom Watson; Chad Kimball (Into the Woods, My Life With Albertine) as Jobs' partner Steve Wozniak; Darren Ritchie (Dracula) as Steve Jobs; and Jessica-Snow Wilson (…Spelling Bee) as Sally.

Philip Wm. McKinley (Broadway's The Boy from Oz), who directed at PTC, helms again. Sharon Fallon and Rich Willis are attached as producers.

Sean Hayes has appeared in films and on television movies and series in dramatic and comic roles. His resume includes "Will & Grace" (he played Jack and won an Emmy Award for his turn in the sitcom — and was nominated six other times); the films "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss," "The Cat in the Hat," "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!"; and the TV film "Martin and Lewis," in which he played Jerry Lewis. *

According to earlier production notes, the show "is an outrageous epic take on the parallel stories of technology pioneers Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as they blaze a path from garage inventors to warring titans of the computer revolution. From the invention of the floppy disk and the mouse to the present-day phenomenon of instant messaging and podcasting, Nerds hilariously celebrates the birth of computer technology and the two pop-culture icons that made it possible…"

Lyricist-librettists Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner both received BFAs from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts at the Experimental Theatre Wing. Shortly after college, they — along with GQ, Jason Catalano, J.A.Q., and Andy Goldberg — created and starred in the popular Off-Broadway production, The Bomb-itty of Errors, "a hip-hop add-rap-tation" of Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. They performed in over 300 performances of Bomb-itty and it has since played in the West End in London, Chicago, Florida, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Los Angeles. It was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Lyrics, nominated for the Outer Critics' Circle Award, and won the Jefferson Award in Chicago and the Grand Jury Prize for Best Show at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen.

With the success of Bomb-itty, the crew signed the first ever three-tier deal with MTV and Paramount. The writers co-created and starred in the hip-hop sketch comedy series, "Scratch & Burn" for MTV in 2002. They were then both invited to be fellows at the Sundance Screenwriting Lab with the screen version of Bomb-itty. Allen-Dutton and Weiner just completed staff writing 10 episodes of "Robot Chicken," Seth Green and Matt Senreich's show on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. They are currently contemporizing the classic cartoon show "Underdog" for television as well as developing more projects for film and television.

Composer Hal Goldberg's composition credits include The Children (New York Music Theatre Festival/2006; HERE Arts/2000). He is currently working on a new musical with book and lyric writer Stan Richardson. He works for Jujamcyn Theaters as the theatre manager of the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on Broadway. For more information on upcoming projects, visit www.TheOfficialHalGoldbergWebsite.com.

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