A musical comedy about the rise and rivalry of tech luminaries Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, will open on Broadway this April. Preview performances for Nerds are scheduled to start March 31st at the Longacre Theatre, with the show's official opening slated for April 21st.
Casting hasn't yet been announced, but there are some decent-ish names attached on the production side, with book and lyrics by Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner (Robot Chicken), music from Hal Goldberg (The Children) and choreography by Emmy winner and Tony nominee Josh Bergasse. Casey Hushion (assistant resident director for Aladdin) will be directing Nerds when it finally hits Broadway.
I use "finally" because, as The New York TImes notes, the musical has been 10 years in the making. An early version ran in 2005 and won some local awards, though the Times' review saying its work-in-progress status was very obvious and that the musical contained "as many dud jokes as inspired moments." But this version is sure to be different — mainly in that it will showcase an array of tech. Those in attendance will actually have some say in the show's plot by downloading an app. Plus, there'll be holograms of some sort. Here's a synopsis of what to expect courtesy of Broadway World:
Before Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were the undisputed titans of technology, they were Nerds. Join America's favorite garage inventors on a hilarious musical journey from the floppy disc era to the iPhone phenomenon, and the epic competition in between, that would revolutionize modern culture as we know it. Fittingly, the production will feature the most progressive technology seen on Broadway, including: on-stage holograms; projection mapping; and an enhanced theatergoing experience through app integrations that allow users to interact with the set and other audience members, choose the show's ending, and more special features soon to be announced.
But the audience won't be pressured into interacting with the show, based on what producer Carl Levin told the Times. "If people don’t want to participate, it’s still a traditional musical," he said. It's unlikely to be the next Hamilton — and the whole "dot comedy" thing is a bit tacky — but for New York's tech-obsessed, hopefully Nerds will at least make for an entertaining time.