Nerdography: Confessions of a Nerd | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Nerdography: Confessions of a Nerd 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Nerdography: Confessions Of a Nerd, at Live Bait Theater. This "one-nerd" show is a perfect disaster. Jason R. Chin is a better director and teacher than performer, and here a combination of nerves and underrehearsal compounds his awkwardness. The bits that enliven his "growing up geek" monologue seem hastily assembled and merely Scotch-taped to the vague story line. But nothing could be more appropriate to an apology for nerddom than the piece's perpetually imploding, ramshackle construction. And Chin is so charming, unpretentious, and painfully well versed in the culture he illustrates that Nerdography somehow feels like a success.

Gimmicky but fun moments help a lot, like pelting the audience with the title candy for passing little pop quizzes on comic books, Star Wars, and Dungeons & Dragons. A heckler gets bought off with a Hostess fruit pie. Chin opens the show in an ill-fitting Starfleet uniform, and when some friends drop by to sing G.I. Joe songs, they both wear Cobra T-shirts. Such deadpan dorkiness aside, Chin does a good Captain Kirk impression (the high point is a dissection of Shatnerian hand-to-hand combat) and throws down so many references that even the well-socialized might recognize some past, extremely uncool obsessions.

However, Chin's missed cues, half-assed props, and accidental destruction of equipment are what end up selling the show. Often putting buttons on jokes that otherwise have none, these contributions from his "inner nerd" save the day.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
April 30 1
Performing Arts
June 26

Popular Stories