The Nerd | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Nerd 

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There's a genre of British humor in which an obnoxious boor inexplicably bullies harmless and/or stupid citizens too polite to resist. Larry Shue's 1981 comedy isn't precisely in this mode--his socially inept title character actually has a motive, revealed only at the end. But the story presents the same challenge: keeping the audience engaged through many repetitions of repellent behavior. Rogue Theater Company tries hard to raise the IQ of an exercise that's trifling at best. But it can't overcome the puerile attitudes of this early effort by a playwright whose accidental death at age 39 eliminated the possibility he'd write plays that would allow us to overlook this one. Through 1/29: Wed-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, City Lit Theater Company, Edgewater Presbyterian Church, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr, 773-450-0591, $12-$15, industry nights Wed (plus "$5 off if dressed as a nerd").

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