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Broadway Shockers 2016: Nerds Goes Belly-Up In Rehearsals

A musical that was set to open during the 2015-16 season closes before it takes the stage.

Rory O'Malley and Bryan Fenkart in a promotional image for the cancelled Broadway production of Nerds.
(© Matthew Murphy)

Broadway shows have been known to close in previews and on opening night, but closing in rehearsal is relatively unheard of. Until this year, at least, when that sad fate befell Nerds, a musical that was announced to be part of the 2015-16 season but got cancelled mid-process.

The "postponement" was attributed to the loss of a major investor, a disaster from which they could not recover. Set to begin previews April 1 and open on April 21 at the Longacre Theatre, the musical, written by Hal Goldberg, Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner, explored the rivalry between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

The company, led by Rory O'Malley, Bryan Fenkart, Patti Murin, and Lindsay Mendez, was informed of the news while they were in the rehearsal studio, as Murin recounted to TheaterMania in an emotional first-person account.

There are a few silver linings, though. O'Malley, just a few short weeks later, was named the new King George in Hamilton. Murin has a guest-starring role on the TV series Chicago Med. Mendez will return to Broadway this spring in Significant Other. But it's unlikely that Nerds will ever get the hard reboot it needs to have its day on Broadway, a loss for the creators and fans alike.

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