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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hilarious, Star-Studded Cast set for the Kevin Cahoon-directed comedy The Nerd at GSP




George Street Playhouse,has announced Ann Harada (TV’s Smash), Colin Hanlon (TV’s Modern Family, Broadway’s Falsettos), Kate Reinders (Broadway’s Wicked and Something Rotten), Zach Shaffer (TV’s Six Feet Under, Broadway’s A View From the Bridge) and Stephen Wallem (Showtime’s Nurse Jackie), will join the previously announced Jonathan Kite (TV’s 2 Broke Girls) in Larry Shue’s The Nerd, on stage April 24 - May 20, 2018. Hayden Bercy (National Tour, A Christmas Story, The Musical) rounds out the cast as 8-year-old Thor Waldgrave.

Kevin Cahoon, who has appeared in many Broadway productions, including The Wedding Singer and The Lion King, will direct the popular comedy, which closes out GSP’s mainstage season.

The Nerd takes place during Willum’s (Hanlon) birthday party, which gets a jolt of hilarious excitement when Rick Steadman (Kite), a fellow ex-soldier who saved Willum's life, stops by for a visit. Upon realizing that Rick will overstay his welcome with a vengeance, Willum puts together an outrageous plan to rid himself of this wacky GI who came to dinner. It’s a rollicking farce from the author of the award-winning comedy The Foreigner.

Ann Harada (Clelia) played Christmas Eve in the Broadway and West End productions of Avenue Q and stepsister Charlotte in Rodgers+Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Other Broadway: Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables (Revival), 9 to 5, Seussical the Musical, and M. Butterfly. Film credits include Sisters, Trouble, Youth in Oregon, Admission, Hope Springs, Feel, and Happiness. She has appeared in the television series Smash (as Linda, the Stage Manager), Lipstick Jungle, 30 Rock, Doubt, The Good Wife, House of Cards, Master of None, The Jim Gaffigan Show and Search Party.

Colin Hanlon (Willum) returns to George Street Playhouse, where he played Jon in 2004's Tick, Tick...Boom! He has also appeared in the Falsettos revival, In Transit, and Rent on Broadway. Hanlon also played Fiyero in the first national tour of Wicked. He played Adam in the New York premiere of Dot by Colman Domingo, directed by Susan Stroman (Vineyard Theatre). Hanlon was in the original casts of I Love You Because and Edges. He played Pete in the world premiere of The 12 by Robert Schenkkan and Neil Berg (Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company) and Luke in the regional premiere of Next Fall at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Hanlon’s television credits include Steven on the Emmy Award-winning Modern Family on ABC, Difficult People on Hulu, and The Sinner on USA Network. He also starred in and produced Submissions Only.


Jonathan Kite
Jonathan Kite (Rick) is best known as Oleg, the hilarious, sex-crazed Ukrainian cook opposite Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs in the CBS comedy hit 2 Broke Girls. Kite appeared in more than 100 episodes of the Emmy Award-nominated comedy. Kite also does voice work for animated series, such as Adult Swim’s Black Dynamite, and FOX’s Family Guy and American Dad. He is an expert impressionist, boasting over 100 celebrity impressions.

Kate Reinders (Tansy) has appeared on Broadway in Something Rotten!, Wicked, Gypsy (with Bernadette Peters, directed by Sam Mendes), Good Vibrations, Into the Woods (2002 revival), and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Her regional theatre credits include Party Come Here (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Nerds (New York Stage & Film), Hair (Bay Street). Reinders was a series regular on Work It (ABC) and Sherri (Lifetime), and a guest star on Anger Management, Modern Family, and Ugly Betty. She has appeared in the films Russell Madness, Grudge Match, Such Good People, Certainty, and Kinsey. Reinders is also part of the singing/songwriting duo TASTiSKANK (with Sarah Litzsinger), recipient of the 2007 Breakout Award at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival).

Zach Shaffer (Axel) has appeared in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (u/s Nick), A View From The Bridge, The Man Who Came to Dinner on Broadway. Other New York credits include Taking Care of Baby (MTC) The Wii Plays, Playlist (Ars Nova) Mine, Brown, Love is Deaf (EST), Down the Drain, Til the Rapture Comes. Regional theater includes shows at Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Portland Center Stage, etc. His film and television credits include Smash, Chicago Justice (NBC) Salt (Columbia Pictures), Black Box, Strangers With Candy, The Black Donnellys, Six Feet Under, XX/XY, Law & Order, Gayby. Shaffer also co-directed and produced the documentary Squeezebox!, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival before going on to tour film festivals around the world.

Stephen Wallem (Waldgrave) is a SAG Award-nominated actor best known as Thor Lundgren for seven seasons on the Emmy-winning Showtime series Nurse Jackie. He worked as a stage actor and After Dark Award-winning cabaret singer in Chicago before moving to New York to make his television debut on Nurse Jackie. Other appearances include Randall in Horace and Pete and Chad in Difficult People. His performance in Bedroom Secrets earned him the 2014 Fringe NYC Overall Excellence in Acting Award. He also teamed with Edie Falco for a sold-out run of the original cabaret The Other Steve and Edie at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Chicago Cabaret Professionals named Stephen their National Honoree for 2014. National tours include Forever Plaid, Into the Woods, and Scrooge starring Richard Chamberlain.

Hayden Bercy (Thor) has appeared ast Flick in the National Tour of A Christmas Story, The Musical and as Ben in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Other theatre credits include Young Tommy in The Who’s Tommy and Newsboy in Gypsy (Count Basie Theatre). TV/film appearances include Pandora’s Box, Wonderama, Boss Level and I’m The Parent.

Kevin Cahoon (Director) has directed numerous productions for the Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatre (Jete Society Award Honoree), developmental productions at NYC’s Ars Nova Theatre, productions for the comedy duo Tastiskank ( Aspen Comedy Festival Breakout Award Winner), and recently, the New York Theatre Workshop Spring Gala starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rachel Dratch, and Patti LuPone. After making his Broadway debut as an actor in The Who’s Tommy, he originated roles in the Broadway productions of The Wedding Singer, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,The Lion King, and the revival of The Rocky Horror Show. His Off Broadway credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch (also Boston, San Francisco,The Edinburgh Festival), How I Learned to Drive (Second Stage Theatre), The Shaggs: Philosophy of The World (Playwrights Horizons), The Foreigner (Roundabout Theatre Company, Lucille Lortel Award nomination), The Wild Party (Manhattan Theatre Club), and Hair and Babes in Arms (City Center Encores!).

Larry Shue (Playwright) was the author of The Nerd, which ran successfully on Broadway with a National Tour and many productions overseas. His play Wenceslas Square was performed off-Broadway at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Wenceslas Square is part of Best Play of 1987-1988, published by Dodd, Mead and Company. He also wrote The Foreigner, which, following a record-breaking run of 700 performances at New York’s Astor Place Theatre, was produced successfully internationally.

The creative team also includes David Arsenault (set design), Leon Dobkowski (costume design), Jason Lyons (lighting design), Fitz Patton (sound design), Leah Loukas (hair and wig design), Kristin Pfeifer (production stage manager) and Christopher J. Bailey (production manager). Casting is by Pat McCorkle, Mccorkle Casting, Ltd.

Tickets start at $44 for Preview performances. Student tickets are $15. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the George Street Playhouse website at www.GeorgeStreetPlayhouse.org, or call the box office at 732-246-7717. Groups of 10 more receive additional discounts. For information about bringing a group to the Playhouse, call 732-846-2895 ext. 134, or visit GeorgeStreetPlayhouse.org/groups.

With its longtime venue in downtown New Brunswick razed to make way for a new performing arts center that will serve as George Street Playhouse’s future home, the Playhouse has taken residence in the former New Jersey Museum of Agriculture at 103 College Farm Road on Rutgers University’s Cook Campus through its 2018-19 season. George Street Playhouse is expected to return downtown to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center for its 2019-20 season. A former museum exhibit area has been transformed into an intimate, mainstage theatre space.

Located right off Route 1 amidst a vast bucolic setting on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University, George Street Playhouse’s new, interim venue features expansive lobby spaces, an outdoor patio and free nearby parking. The entrance into the building and to all areas of the theatre are barrier-free. For directions to George Street Playhouse, visit the Playhouse website (GeorgeStreetPlayhouse.org) and click Directions on the homepage.

New Brunswick’s favorite restaurants are less than two miles from College Farm Road. For a list of restaurants, visit the Plan Your Visit section of the website. And keep a lookout for unique dining options offered by George Street Playhouse.



About George Street Playhouse

George Street Playhouse is a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season to nearly 30,000 patrons annually, while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Its leadership consists of Artistic Director David Saint and Managing Director Kelly Ryman. Currently located on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University, George Street Playhouse will take residence in a new performing arts center scheduled to open for the 2019-20 season. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway, including the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger; the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In 2015, George Street Playhouse was represented by two productions in New York with the Broadway production of It Shoulda Been You and Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies, which opened off-Broadway that same year. Both shows received their premieres at the Playhouse. Gettin’ the Band Back Together, which premiered at GSP in 2013, is set to open on Broadway in Summer 2018. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP’s Touring Educational Theatre features issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 35,000 students annually.

Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.

George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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