LETTERS FROM A NUT by Carol Kaufman Segal
Come on, don’t take it seriously. This presentation is not trying to be a play, nor a drama, but it is simply a gentleman (Ted L Nancy, aka Barry Marder) with a sense of humor who wants to make you laugh. And he does a good job doing just that. Letters From a Nut is directed by Pierre Balloon.
This is how it all began. One evening Marder, a veteran stand-up comedian, was relaxing while munching on Fritos when he happened to read on the bag, “Got a problem? Write to us at Fritos.” Thinking out loud, “Who would write to Fritos? his girlfriend responded, “A nut, that’s who?”
Marder began sending ludicrous letters to companies everywhere under the pseudonym Ted L, Nancy. The responses he received back from service departments were just as ludicrous, and in 1997, he put together a book entitled Letters From a Nut, followed by six more books.
In his show, Nancy explains all of this to his audience before he sits down at a desk and begins reading a letter (a copy of which is projected on the stage) followed by the response (also shown) by Beth Kennedy who takes on numerous corporate characters throughout the 80 minute production. Letters from Ted L. Nancy are so absurd it is difficult to believe that any company would take them seriously enough to respond to him. But respond they do, and for all good intentions, they add to the essence of this very comical production. As difficult as it is to believe, all of the letters are real.
Letters From a Nut was written by Ted L.Nancy, pseudonym for Barry Marder, a former writer for Jerry Seinfeld who produced this show. He has written for Bill Maher, Jay Leno, and David Letterman. He was a co-writer for DreamWorks animated hit The Bee Movie and wrote with George Carlin.
Beth Kennedy is a long standing member of the Troubadour Theater Company and is the recipient of multiple Ovation, Backstage, and LA Drama Critic Circle Awards for other performances.
Sam Kwasman appears as Pagliacci dressed in a clown’s suit, but though he does the character well, it is questionable why he is even a part of the production. Perhaps three’s a charm!
Letters From a Nut plays Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 3 PM and 8 PM, and Sundays at 2 PM and 7 PM, through July 30, in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles. Tickets are available at the Geffen Playhouse box office, by phone at (310) 208-5454, or online at www.geffenplayhouse,org.