"Gutenburg! The Musical" opened at Act II Playhouse in Ambler on Friday evening, to a full house of laughing theatre-goers.
The show is a collaboration between Act II Playhouse and Montgomery Theater in Souderton, with Tony Braithwaite, Act II Playhouse's artistic director, as Bud, and is directed by Tom Quinn, Montgomery Theater's artistic director.
The show stars Braithwaite and Steve Pacek in a two-man show that features no props, no set, and no additional cast.
The musical, about Johann Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, is written by Bud, played by Braithewaite, and Doug, played by Pacek, who are pitching the show to Broadway producers.They explain that while doing research for the show, they found that information on Gutenberg's life was scarce, so they made a "his-story-cal" tale, and wrote a historical fiction musical.
The musical touches on history, religion, love, anti-semitism and even bacon.
With the minimal set, comprised of a few boxes with labels, two actors and a number of baseball caps to distinguish between characters, Braithwaite and Pacek needed to have every move, every step calculated, and they pulled it off flawlesslessly and it the most comical way possible.
Not to mention, the writers were able to incorporate references to feces and breasts in a comical way in a song about suicide, and Pacek was hysterical while singing it.
The show closes with a sing-along with the audience, but do Bud and Doug get the Broadway contract they so desire? You'll have to see the show for yourself to find out.
The show runs through Nov. 4 and tickets are available online at the Act II Playhouse website or by calling 215-654-0200.
For more information on the show, about Act II Playhouse or to purchase tickets, click here.