Steve Jobs, Bill Gates Musical-Comedy Calls Off Broadway Debut
The Broadway staging of the musical-comedy Nerds, about tech pioneers Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, has been called off weeks before it was scheduled to begin performances, The New York Times reports.
According to producer Carl Levin, the show was stricken with financial troubles, including “the loss of a major investor.” While he framed the move as a postponement, Levin did not give a potential return date; however, he did say the show is now planning for a national tour.
Some insiders suggested that Nerds made the jump to Broadway too soon. It had yet to finalize its casting or financing, but producers reportedly jumped at the opportunity to use the Longacre Theatre when it arose, as the market for Broadway spaces is otherwise tight and limited.
The Broadway iteration of Nerds has long been in-the-works and the show itself was first presented by the Philadelphia Theatre Company in 2005. It chronicles the rise and competition of Apple’s Jobs and Microsoft’s Gates, and the Broadway staging was reportedly set to incorporate an array of tech, including onstage holograms, projection mapping and an interactive, in-show app.
Nerds was to star Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon) as Gates and Bryan Fenkart (Memphis) as Jobs. Hal Goldberg penned the music, while the book and lyrics were written by Jordan Allen-Dutton and Erik Weiner.
Both Dutton and Weiner grew up in tech hubs — Paolo Alto and San Francisco, respectively — and wrote for the hit Cartoon Network series, Robot Chicken. In 1999, they staged their first play, The Bomb-itty of Errors, a hip-hop adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors.
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