What's on Tap

What's on Tap

After successful NC Theatre run, 'Nerds' heads to Broadway

Posted February 17, 2016

— A musical dot-comedy with ties to Raleigh is headed to Broadway.

North Carolina Theatre produced "Nerds" as a pre-Broadway engagement about three years ago at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The show was a first for the Raleigh arts community.

The show charts the fictional battle between Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Macintosh creator Steve Jobs.

While the two technology titans did not know each other that well, the musical has them as rivals since 1975 when they met at a computer club.

"Nerds" will open at Broadway's Longacre Theatre on April 21. Preview performances start on March 31.

The show marks the Broadway directorial debut of Casey Hushion, NC Theatre's artistic director.

Nerds is also notable as the Broadway directorial debut of NCT's Artistic Director, Casey Hushion.

"Nerds" is the brainchild of writers Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner, who has a recurring role in "The New Normal" and appeared on HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."

Allen-Dutton said the idea for the production actually came from a sketch the two had written for their MTV 2002 sketch comedy show "Scratch & Burn" in which Gates goes back in time to tell some high school students it won't be so bad in the future when nerds are ruling the world. Allen-Dutton, who has produced the MTV Movie Awards and writes for "Robot Chicken" on Cartoon Network, said his mother suggested the sketch become a musical.

By 2004, "Nerds" was being workshopped at NYU and the New York Stage and Film Festival. It was one of the headlining shows of the 2005 New York Musical Theatre Festival and officially premiered at the Philadelphia Theater Company in January 2007. It won Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Original Music at the 2007 Barrymore Awards.


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