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For several years now, Jerry Seinfeld and Barry Marder have been developing a stage version of Marder’s classic book series of pranks titled Letters From a Nut by Ted L. Nancy. The two even allowed a camera to capture one of their early creative conversations, seen here in a YouTube clip posted in March 2013.
Fast-forward four years, and the show is now just about finished after having booked a world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. Penned by Nancy — a pseudonym used by Marder — the show will feature him starring alongside Beth Kennedy (Kong: Skull Island) and Sam Kwasman (MADtv). Pierre Balloon (Le Petit) will direct, and Seinfeld is also on board to produce, marking his L.A. stage producing debut.
Letters From a Nut will begin previews at the Geffen’s Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater on June 23 with opening night set for June 28. The show is scheduled to close July 30. The project falls under the theater’s Spotlight Entertainment Series. Letters From a Nut features Nancy-penned prank letters to various organizations and the responses he receives. The first book in the series hit shelves in 1997 and featured an intro by Seinfeld. (The two are longtime pals and even appeared in an episode of Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.)
The theater described some of the highlights in a release about the show, writing, “He writes to the city of Huntington Beach requesting a permit for operating his Electronic Nose Blowing Machine, invites Czechoslovakian President Vaclav Havel to become Treasurer of Ted’s Vacuum Club, asks Nordstrom about buying a mannequin that looks like his deceased neighbor to present to the grieving widow, and more. Nancy brings his madcap collection of correspondence to the Geffen stage for a one-of-a-kind show that is both outlandish and uproarious.”
Asked to comment on the show, Nancy ignored the question and instead offered this statement: “I like my fork! I eat the following foods with my fork: gumbo, melon chunks, cake, hamburger, imitation crab, yam, teriyaki.” Added pal Seinfeld, “What is Ted’s compulsion to disturb innocent, hardworking people? People who are clearly doing nothing more than attempting to conduct their business in a dignified manner?”
More information about the show can be found here.
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