GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews

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EDSOSLO858
#1GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/12/23 at 12:23am


Oh look, a bibu!

Dom P
#2GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/12/23 at 9:45pm

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
#3GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/12/23 at 10:27pm

Mixed review from Jesse Green, but he's got quotes they can pull.

"Gad and Rannells couldn’t be better. Together they land every joke."

"a thousand chuckles," "the jokes are abundant"

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EDSOSLO858
#4GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/12/23 at 10:45pm

DTLI Consensus: Though the laughs come fast and furious, this musical isn’t quite worthy of its two exclamation points. 

6 mixed (including the NYT), 3 positive, 3 negative.

https://didtheylikeit.com/shows/gutenberg/


Oh look, a bibu!
Updated On: 10/12/23 at 10:45 PM

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
#5GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/12/23 at 10:49pm

EDSOSLO858 said: "6 mixed (including the NYT), 3 positive, 3 negative."

This is the definition of split down the middle! And not a surprise to me at all. How I wish this silly, funny little show was 90 mins, no intermission...bet the reviews would have been stronger, too.

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Dylan Smith4
#6GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/12/23 at 10:56pm

Here's my review. I did not really like this production, but it's ok, I guess. 

Gutenberg Review: We all could use some wine afterward.

Even with Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells, this musical does not bring out the comedic gold that this duo possesses.

★★☆☆☆

Some would call this the onstage reunion we’ve been waiting years for, as Gad and Rannells have not been on stage together since 2012. Sadly, that does not quite fit with this particular show that opened at the James Earl Jones Theatre today.

Gutenberg has had a long history before landing on Broadway. Frankly, though, why does this musical even exist? The show is about two artists, Bud (Josh Gad) and Doug (Andrew Rannells), who have written a musical about Johannes Gutenberg. The guy who invented the printing press and how he got to that point. However, the story by Scot Brown and Anthony King is told as if we were in a small space. Gad and Rannells play all the parts while explaining the story as if the audience were rich producers who could give the show a life. To be honest, it’s kind of hard to envision a workshop presentation when you are in a thousand-seat theatre. 

Do not get me wrong, Gad and Rannells are funny as hell. Anybody would kill to see this comic duo on stage together. Their onstage chemistry is remarkable, and their comedic timing is impeccable. However, this work, in particular, is not it. Now, were there some funny parts of the show? Yes, but I certainly was not laughing as hard as other people were. If you want to enjoy this show, you might want to have a drink or two so that you can laugh it all up during the show. I surely needed a drink after seeing this.  

I must say, the ability of Gad and Rannells to wear ten or more hats on their heads is impressive, especially as they are the stars of the show. Each hat has a different character name, played and sometimes swapped by the pair. In the theatre business, it’s a big challenge to memorize and portray all the parts of a show. That still doesn’t take away from the fact that the story is dull and, in some cases, creepy. One example is when Gad puts on a hat that says “Anti-Semite” and holds a red flower. At that point, I wondered, what in the world am I watching right now? 

The set is designed by Scott Pask, who presents us with a stage that looks like one of those multipurpose rooms we see in old school buildings. Does it work with the concept? Sure. Just what a community theatre project needs! 

The show is directed by Alex Timbers, who does a decent job of interpreting two artists who want to make their Broadway dreams come true. I would like to mention that the frequent sideways marching between scenes became increasingly annoying as the night went on. 

I will conclude with this: at the end of the show, Gad and Rannells lead a song called “We Eat Dreams” and have the audience sing in response, “We Eat Them Too.” Out of the blue, a special guest, wearing a hat that says “Producer,” walks up on stage and gives the pair a contract. The night I attended, the special guest was none other than Nikki M. James. So, this night was a true Book of Mormon reunion. If you want to see a great comic duo on stage, then see the show just for them, otherwise, you would be better off seeing a different musical comedy that does not need two big names to sell tickets. 


The idea is to work and to experiment. Some things will be creatively successful, some things will succeed at the box office, and some things will only - which is the biggest only - teach you things that see the future. And they're probably as valuable as any of your successes. -Harold Prince
Updated On: 10/12/23 at 10:56 PM

Sutton Ross Profile Photo
Sutton Ross
#7GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/12/23 at 11:10pm

His name is Andrew Rannells.

Dylan Smith4 Profile Photo
Dylan Smith4
#8GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/12/23 at 11:21pm

Sutton Ross said: "His name is AndrewRannells."

Oh my! Autocorrect snuck up from behind! Fixed it! Thanks for pointing that out Sutton!


The idea is to work and to experiment. Some things will be creatively successful, some things will succeed at the box office, and some things will only - which is the biggest only - teach you things that see the future. And they're probably as valuable as any of your successes. -Harold Prince

BETTY22
#9GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/13/23 at 7:26am

Fun to see Nathan Lane make a surprise appearance last night.

Jimmy Fallon was in the house tooooooooooooooo!!!

I do love the excitement of an opening night 

JasonC3
#10GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/13/23 at 7:36am

Sara Holden's review in Vulture seems pretty spot-on:

https://www.vulture.com/article/theater-review-gutenberg-the-musical-broadway.html

sppunk
#11GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/15/23 at 10:40am

Any discounts for this? Want to see in 2 weeks, it’s more than a half empty theater and I can’t find anything.

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inception
#12GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/15/23 at 4:49pm

sppunk said: "Any discounts for this? Want to see in 2 weeks, it’s more than a half empty theater and I can’t find anything."

It looks like it had been available at TKTS, but I don't see any discount codes at the usual places. The trend now seems more people wait until the last minute to buy; so maybe they are waiting to see if people will pay full price?  


...

JasonC3
#13GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/15/23 at 7:49pm

Theatremania had a discount available prior to opening.  Perhaps the marketing and discount strategy is being determined based on reviews and subsequent box office.  I'd keep checking.

BroadwayNoob
#14GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/16/23 at 4:09pm

sppunk said: "Any discounts for this? Want to see in 2 weeks, it’s more than a half empty theater and I can’t find anything."

At one point I think BISCUITS! was the code I think. I ended up getting $59 balc seats straight from the box office. No issues with the view and loved the show so much! I will be going back

BoringBoredBoard40
#15GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/16/23 at 5:06pm

the show has been selling very well day of, the discount that was available BISCUITS expired on 10/11 

they do have $40 rush seats and $45 standing room when sold out 

sppunk
#16GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/16/23 at 6:37pm

It’s on TDF but just for Wednesday. If all else fails I’ll buy the day before at the box office. The entire mess is mostly unsold and like 3/4 premium seats still listed. 

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binau
#17GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/17/23 at 3:00am

Like Kimberly Akimbo, this had a poor advance but it seemed to be able to pick up momentum after performances started and seems to sell a lot of tickets close to curtain - my speculation is word of mouth is strong and people want to be entertained (seems to have reasonably high rating on show score, for example). I can see for example the seats that appear to be sold through the rest of this week are far higher than when they started performances and they are going to have another strong week. I can see why they are holding out for now RE: discounts. 

 

 


"You can't overrate Bernadette Peters. She is such a genius. There's a moment in "Too Many Mornings" and Bernadette doing 'I wore green the last time' - It's a voice that is just already given up - it is so sorrowful. Tragic. You can see from that moment the show is going to be headed into such dark territory and it hinges on this tiny throwaway moment of the voice." - Ben Brantley (2022) "Bernadette's whole, stunning performance [as Rose in Gypsy] galvanized the actors capable of letting loose with her. Bernadette's Rose did take its rightful place, but too late, and unseen by too many who should have seen it" Arthur Laurents (2009) "Sondheim's own favorite star performances? [Bernadette] Peters in ''Sunday in the Park,'' Lansbury in ''Sweeney Todd'' and ''obviously, Ethel was thrilling in 'Gypsy.'' Nytimes, 2000

chanel
#18GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/19/23 at 11:39am

Village Voice review says it's at times like an extended SNL sketch, but it's giddy and well played.

Interestingly, it puts the show in the context of other musicals and movies about two male friends writing bad songs.

https://www.villagevoice.com/review-gutenberg-the-musical-makes-it-to-broadway/

 

BoringBoredBoard40
#19GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/20/23 at 11:31pm

In a bit of Meta-Madness, Steve Guttenberg was the guest "producer" this evening.

Seems post opening they are now having a celebrity guest at every performance

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binau
#20GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/21/23 at 1:16pm

Interestingly according to this talk Josh Gadd would have done Forum directed by Alex Timbers had he committed to a year-long run, but he wouldn't do that for family reasons as he lives in LA. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWaKZS8o9y8


"You can't overrate Bernadette Peters. She is such a genius. There's a moment in "Too Many Mornings" and Bernadette doing 'I wore green the last time' - It's a voice that is just already given up - it is so sorrowful. Tragic. You can see from that moment the show is going to be headed into such dark territory and it hinges on this tiny throwaway moment of the voice." - Ben Brantley (2022) "Bernadette's whole, stunning performance [as Rose in Gypsy] galvanized the actors capable of letting loose with her. Bernadette's Rose did take its rightful place, but too late, and unseen by too many who should have seen it" Arthur Laurents (2009) "Sondheim's own favorite star performances? [Bernadette] Peters in ''Sunday in the Park,'' Lansbury in ''Sweeney Todd'' and ''obviously, Ethel was thrilling in 'Gypsy.'' Nytimes, 2000

BOM  Profile Photo
BOM
#21GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 10/22/23 at 6:12pm

John Stamos was the producer tonight. Rannells and Gad were great, but I found the show itself to be  pretty meh. 

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TaffyDavenport
#22GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 11/3/23 at 12:42pm

GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews

PipingHotPiccolo
#23GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 11/5/23 at 10:06pm

My face hurts from smiling. What a fun night (and as Rannells pointed out rather sincerely, a wild enthusiastic audience that was nearly sold out). These are two of the most talented musical comedians at the top of their game, elevating some solid but occasionally lame off-bway niche material into full-on comedy heaven. They were both ad-libbing and mocking the audience, and Gad threw in a dig about a phone alarm that went off for a solid minute, and the audience roared.

Gad seems to be under the weather, but gave it his all; Rannells is the perfect foil of calm pitch perfection and i was particularly wowed by his vocals here. 

Thank you to whoever reported that front of the balcony is plenty intimate for this show. We were front-left and saw everything (including the hats) perfectly.  Betty Who was the Guest Producer-- she was on stage for all of 20 seconds, and barely got her name out, I think most people didnt realize she was a guest celebrity at all? Hard to imagine Groff or Bareilles show up for that tiny lil cameo with no real lines, so I assume its adjusted depending on the guest?

Anyway, alot of stupid fun, and a treasure to see these two cracking each other and us up like that.

Updated On: 11/5/23 at 10:06 PM

BoringBoredBoard40
#24GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 11/5/23 at 10:44pm

Every person doing the cameo is meant to stick to a script that is four lines long, some people have decided to improvise or go off script, some following the instructions exactly. 

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quizking101
#25GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! Reviews
Posted: 11/5/23 at 11:36pm

I was there tonight too. It was very funny and kinda stupid in a SPAMALOT kind of way. Does it triumph their previous outing? No. Does it keep your attention for 2 hours? Not always. Will you definitely find yourself cackling at how these two play off each other? Absolutely!!!

Betty Who as the guest was kind of cool and I was curious as to how they got her since HADESTOWN normally has a Sunday night show. I was actually sitting a few rows behind her and there is a stagehand who runs up to them with the props just before the end - they were sitting in F or G114. Granted, it took a minute for me to realize who it actually was because I couldn’t hear her name said and the only tip off I had was the Australian accent. (She had hair like Hannah Waddingham and was dressed like Jane Lynch so I was thrown).


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