Eating Dreams is Gut!

You’ve probably heard of Gutenberg (the man). You know, the inventor of the printing press and moveable type that caused an international literacy revolution? Yes, Johannes Gutenberg, of early 15th century Germany.

Well, get ready to hear about Gutenberg! the Musical, now playing at the James Earl Jones Theater on Broadway. The show tells the story of Bud and Doug (Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells), two seemingly hopeless pals as they pitch their musical about Johannes Gutenberg to an audience of what they hope are Broadway producers. The two have spent all their money on renting out the theatre and (half of) the Middlesex Six band, so their two-man presentation of a show with more than twenty roles (differentiated by Kinco’s printed trucker hats) is their last chance to make their dreams come true. Over the course of the next two hours, we’re able to learn a lot about Bud and Doug and their wholesome, yet chaotic, friendship in between scenes of their original historical fiction. 

You’re first welcomed into the theatre to the discography of Billy Joel and open set filled with so many details to discover as you’re waiting for the show to begin. If you’re familiar with the pre-show queue to MuppetVision*3D at Walt Disney World, you’ll definitely pick up on the familiar vibe of a huge presentation getting ready to happen, will the sheer quantity of costumes, signs, and set pieces on stage, and unhinged energy looming from the very starting moments of the show. The floor is covered in excessive spike tape and the props are all very homemade and low-budget, so the audience’s imagination is most certainly requested. However, it all adds to the character’s charm and their hopelessly optimistic attitude.

I’ve seen the show twice now, and one of the most special things about this production is how much it interacts with the audience. As you may have seen all over social media, the show welcomes a different guest producer every night – typically a celebrity from the entertainment sphere, though Santa did make an appearance at the Christmas Eve performance. The guest producer comes in at the end of the show, but I have never seen a show completely remove the fourth wall the way Gutenberg! the Musical has. There are jelly beans thrown into the orchestra, and even sometimes direct conversations with audience members. There were a few audible reactions from the audience, especially the second time I saw the show, and both Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells responded directly to the audience. 

Gutenberg! the Musical closes this month, but there’s still a few chances left to see it! If you want to see a love letter to musical theatre that’s a little dorky but a lot of fun, this is the perfect show to see. If you’ve already seen it, I’d love to know what you thought of it! If you can’t catch the show before January 28th, you can find a cast recording from the 2009 Off-Broadway production on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube and it is definitely worth a listen.

Have a terrific day!

Leave a Reply

Prev Post

Seeing Spamalot on Broadway Should Be Your Destiny

Next Post

French Beauty in Downtown NYC: Caudalie Spa