Jerry Seinfeld’s Production of ‘Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy’ Opens at L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse 

Jerry Seinfeld knows a lot about nothing. He made much ado about it in his classic 90s sitcom “Seinfeld,” and will now make a big thing out of a series of prank letters for groundling theater-goers. Seinfeld has been working with Barry Marder for four years to develop a stage version of Marder’s book series “Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy.” The play will open at Geffen Playhouse’s Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater as part of its Spotlight Entertainment Series on June 28.  “Letters From a Nut by Ted L. Nancy” will run through July 30. Previews begin on June 23.

Ted L. Nancy is a pseudonym used by Marder, who wrote the screenplay for Bee Movie (2007), on a series of prank letters he wrote to various corporations, hotels and sports teams. “Ted L. Nancy is a customer in need of service,” reads the official synopsis. “He writes to the City of Huntington Beach requesting a permit for operating his Electronic Nose Blowing Machine, invites Czechoslovakian President Václav 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. Time after time, well-meaning representatives offer earnest replies to his letters.” “Letters from a Nut” premiered at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood.

The first book of the bestselling series, “Letters from a Nut, Mr. Nancy,” hit shelves in 1997. “What is Ted’s compulsion to disturb innocent hardworking people,” Seinfeld asked in the introduction. “People who are clearly doing nothing more than attempting to conduct their business in a dignified manner?” That didn’t stop Seinfeld from inflicting his long-suffering friend onto wait staff in his Crackle series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

Marder is a comedian who wrote for “Seinfeld,” as well as for Bill Maher, Jay Leno, and David Letterman. He also wrote with the late comedy legend George Carlin. The play is helmed by French director Pierre Balloón, who made the abstract film “Le Petit” (The Small). He also directed a production of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” which starred Champak Daya as Oscar and Gunjan Harjeet as Felix.

“Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy” was written by Ted L. Nancy. It was directed by Pierre Balloón  (“Le Petit”), and produced by Jerry Seinfeld in his L.A. stage production debut. It stars Ted L. Nancy as Ted L. Nancy, Beth Kennedy (“Kong: Skull Island”) as Service Representative and Sam Kwasman (“Mad TV Live and Almost Legal”) as Pagliacci.  

Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy” runs June 23 through July 30 at Geffen Playhouse.