Broadway Musical Comedy Called ‘Nerds’ about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Rivalry

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You probably weren't asking for it, but it's coming: Nerds, a musical comedy about the rivalry between Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs. Rolling Stone reported this week that Nerds will debut on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre on April 21st of this year, while previews will start on March 31st.

The play was actually first shown back in 2005, six years before the death of Steve Jobs from a long bout with cancer. It was also much closer to the time when Bill Gates was still running Microsoft and the PC vs. Mac Platform Wars were still a thing. Playbill has some images from a 2007 return engagement in Philadelphia. Indy Week has other images from a 2013 production in Raleigh, North Carolina. Here's a promotional image from another 2013 run in Philadelphia.

Rolling Stone said that it was put on by the Philadelphia Theatre Company in 2005, where it won local Barrymore Awards for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Original Music. The North Carolina Theater also ran the play in a "limited engagement." Now Nerds is hitting the bigtime in the world of plays with a Broadway run. 

Casting hasn't been announced. Tickets are available through Telecharge. They are currently priced between US$39 and $147 (plus a $2.00 "facility fee").

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I haven't seen any material from the show, but I hope it's great. If so, I hope I get to see it. Steve Jobs was never one to look back, but I would love to see the rivalry between him and Bill Gates presented in a musical comedy. That period of time when there was a rivalry between the two men is not only fascinating to me, it serves as the foundation of much of what we consider modern life.

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Sad to say, I think it has “flop” written all over it.  The appeal just seems too narrow to sustain a Broadway musical theater audience, most of whom are tourists who are willing to pay Broadway ticket prices only for proven shows.  That means revivals, adaptations of famous movies, and the occasional high-buzz ground-breaking show like “Hamilton”. 

Imagine pitching a musical about tech geeks to a family from Kansas visiting the Big Apple.  Mom will want to see The King and I, the kids will push for Hamilton, and Dad will want to stay in the hotel and meet them at Katz Deli afterwards.


Okay, if the kids are younger, then Aladdin.

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