Art Beat: Zany comedy The Nerd opens at Matthews Opera House

The middle of a chilly winter, it's the perfect time for an evening of warm laughter.

In this week's Art Beat, we go to the Matthew's Opera House for a comedy that's sure to have the audience thinking about some of the jokes long after they leave the theater.

The setting is Indiana in the late 1970's, one evening during dinner with a client and friends, an unassuming architect's life gets turned upside down when the man who saved him back in Vietnam decides to show up.

This is just the beginning of this wild ride called The Nerd.

Joanna Mechaley, Director, The Nerd, says "This script has so many layers to it. On the surface it is pure lunacy. It almost seems to make no sense but the more you listen, the more you read, the more you hear the lines the more you realize there is so much meaning in everything these people are saying and everything they're doing. It's a very well written and woven together plot."

As the plot and characters evolve it becomes even more interesting for the audience to figure out everyone's motivations.

Plus the dialogue has jokes that will keep the audience guessing.
Colin Hanzlik, Tricky, says "It's farcical, it's sarcastic there are innuendos and puns and things people won't realize for days and then they'll think of it and they'll say oh, man, so yea, it's really funny."

The well written script and physical humor keep the actors on their toes, obstacles they all welcome.

Joanna says "The dialogue is a huge challenge because people are constantly switching their train of thought.

There's a lot of physical comedy in the show, reactions, facial expressions.

In essence it's a farce, but it's been a challenge to take something that is so ridiculous and make it engaging and to an extent believable ."

As the laughs, and twists and turns continue on stage, the behind the scenes work is also on-going.

Kirk Hauck, Alex Hammond, says "The crew that's put together the set and brought all the props, there's been a lot of behind the scenes work like everyday that we come in here it's amazing how much work they've done and usually those aren't the people you get to see. Everyone sees the actors, we would, this is all volunteer work and I'm incredibly grateful for all the work that our crew has done."

Joanna says, "We've got some wonderful technicians working on sounds and lights and putting together the set and making props from nothing. "

The Nerd is a comedy with purpose and as the story progresses the audience will come to understand that the villiian isn't so bad when his motivation is make his friend understand his real priorities.

So when the final curtain falls at the Matthews Opera House the cast and crew hopes the audience leaves with a smile, and maybe even a little more.

Kirk says "I hope that their sides are aching from how much they laughed."

Colin says "and also weeks and even months later people coming back and saying you know what, I got that now. "

Joanna says "I hope they that they are just are feeling joy, and the satisfaction that comes with having laughed and escaped for a little bit. I just hope they walk out feeling good."

Tonight was opening night for The Nerd at the Matthews Opera House. You can catch it this weekend and next at 7:30 each night or 2 p.m. on Sunday's.