By Kenneth Jones
15 Dec 2006
The creatives in Philly are all new since the earlier NYMF test of the project; given their high-toned resumes, it's clear this production is aiming for a commercial future.
Opening is Jan. 31 for a run that will last to Feb. 25 at the resident not-for-profit Equity theatre in Philly.
Nerds://A Musical Software Satire features book and lyrics Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner (Off-Broadway's The Bomb-itty of Errors, TV's "Robot Chicken") and music by Hal Goldberg (NYMF's The Children).
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," according to PTC. "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…"
The original score features songs titles including "Stroll Through the P.A.R.C.," "Think Different," "Let's Merge," "The Windows Rap" and more.
Nerds will feature Jim Poulos (Broadway's Rent, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) as Bill Gates and Charlie Pollack (Broadway's Urinetown) as Steve Jobs, and Andrew Cassese as Paul Allen, Aaron Cromie as Herbert, Joseph Dellger as IBM president Tom Watson, Michael Parish DuDell as Dustin, David Rossmer as Steve Wozniak, Chandra Lee Schwartz as Sally Engelbart, and Emily Shoolin as Myrtle.
McKinley's directing credits also include New York City Opera's The Most Happy Fella, starring Paul Sorvino, and Off-Broadway's Thwak and Zombie Prom.
The creative team also includes costume designer Alejo Vietti (Off-Broadway's Tryst), lighting designer Mike Baldassari (Tony nominee, Cabaret), sound designer Fitz Patton (Broadway's As Long As We Both Shall Laugh) and projection designer Zachary Borovay (Off-Broadway's A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop).
Nerds will have orchestrations by Dan Lipton, musical supervision by Nadia DiGiallonardo and musical direction by Matt Doebler.
Tickets for the Philadelphia Theatre Company engagement of Nerds are scaled at $36-$54 and are now available by calling (215) 985-0420 (in the Philadelphia area) or 866-985-0420 (toll-free).
Visit www.phillytheatreco.com for additional information.
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.