I saw the cast list and immediately smiled.
Each name was familiar. They'd all appeared on the Lincoln Trail College stage before.
This time, however, was different.
The characters I've known from the LTC productions were all listed together and the production was a comedy, "The Nerd."
As I found my place in the theater the night of rehearsal, I mentally prepped myself for what was to come.
Steven Bruce as the too-nice-for-his-own-good architect, Brennan Tracy as the sarcastic and often-inebriated friend, Rachel Carter as the love interest, and finally John Sharma as the nerd Rick Steadman, rounded out the lead characters.
"The Nerd" revolves around Bruce's character, Willum, and his encounter with the fellow soldier who saved his life in Vietnam, Rick Steadman. After the rescue, the men continued to exchange correspondence and we find Willum prepping for a visit by his fellow serviceman.
Once "Rick" arrives, however, things get crazy hilarious as Steadman leeches on to Willum with wild abandon, wrecks his career, and just mainly, causes chaos in Willum's steady and predictable life.
With this cast and the over-the-top characters, I had a preconceived notion this production would be all fun and games. I left the theater, however, with a much bigger picture.
The minute our friend the nerd, "Rick Steadman," arrived on stage and began interacting with the other characters, I couldn't stop smiling and even laughing out loud in parts. Each character contributed their own brand of humor.
Hidden beneath the laughs, however, was a tale of true friendship and support.
Sometimes your friends do know what is best for you, even before you do. To watch an unexpected friend guide Willum down the path he needed to go rather than the safe route, even if it was using less than scrupulous means, made this show not only hilarious but touching.