Star City Playhouse wraps up ‘Belle of Amherst,’ next up ‘The Nerd’

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The Star City Playhouse has wrapped up its first full-length production since owners Marlow and Karon Semones Ferguson relocated the community theatre to Vinton.

“The Belle of Amherst” has been running for three consecutive weekends beginning on March 25 with shows on Friday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday matinees. They had their first sold out production on April 7. The outstanding Linsee Lee played the role of poet Emily Dickenson in a one-woman play.

Next up is “The Nerd,” a two-act comedy by Larry Shue slated to open on May 12 and will also run for three weekends through May 28.

Marlow Ferguson said “The Nerd” is the story of Willum Cubbert, a young architect, his love interest Tansy, and Rick Steadman (the Nerd), who saved his life in Vietnam by carrying him out of battle. Cubbert promised Steadman that he could come to him for help at any time. They only communicated occasionally through the years until Steadman shows up unexpectedly at a dinner Cubbert is hosting, throws the party into bedlam, and takes up residence— the houseguest from hell who outstays his welcome. According to reviews, the Nerd has “no social sense, little intelligence, and even less tact.”

The comedy has been described as “side-splitting” and “one of the funniest plays ever written.” Shue, a playwright and actor of great promise, died an untimely death in a plane crash in Virginia at age 39.

The cast includes parts for four men, two women, one boy, and the Nerd. Star City Playhouse has a resident company of actors, but also conducts auditions for each production. Check the Star City Playhouse Facebook page for more information or call 366-1446.

“The Nerd” will be followed by “Bus Stop” in July, “Enemy of the People” in September, and “The Second Man” in November.