We head across the pond to Broadway to see what is being said about Gutenberg! The Musical! which sees Tony Award nominees Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells  back on stage.

The New York Times: “Gad and Rannells, a Mutt and Jeff team since they starred in “The Book of Mormon” in 2011, couldn’t be better. Gad’s weird combination of bluster and insecurity (he twitches a lot) makes Bud almost two-dimensional; Rannells, with his golden retriever gloss and whirring-computer energy, takes Doug most of the way from conceit to character. Together they land every joke.”

Variety: “The real fun, however — and there is much of it — lies in simply watching Gad and Rannells run riot, riff with each other, play with the audience, and just have a grand old time once again playing sweet, deluded dreamers. With their simpatico rhythms, the two demonstrate the art of great comedic pairings: Rannells’ tightly-wound, cool earnestness perfectly counterbalances Gad’s hot-mess of anxieties. (Both are nicely costumed by Emily Reboltz, with neat argyles for Rannells and rumpled everything for Gad.)”

NY Post.com: “But Gad and Rannells — what a pair — are always a pleasure to watch. And when they really nail a joke, it lands like a jumbo jet.”

Observer.com: “Having staged much costlier and busier spectacles, it’s a treat to see Timbers work his signature blend of irony and ecstasy on a smaller scale with a tighter focus, while reserving a juicy reveal for the end. Gutenberg! is not designed to be anyone’s gateway musical or inspire a career in that impossible, flop-filled field, but it’s firmly imprinted on my heart, sans serif.”

Time Out.com: **** “Rannells and Gad work so well off each other’s strengths that Gutenberg! makes you want to see them in a revival of The Producers. Though Doug is the gay one of the team, Rannells mostly plays it relatively straight; physically graceful and a bit of a control freak—you can occasionally catch him mouthing lines when Bud speaks—he plays the central role of the hardy Gutenberg, who begins the show as a winemaker in the thatch-heavy, rat-infested town of Schlimmer. (That’s the German word for worse.) Meanwhile, Gad’s more excitable Bud capers around him and shows off his impressive range, both comic and vocal, in juicier side roles like a hateful flower girl and an evil, growling monk. They both play a recurring pair of drunks, and take turns playing Gutenberg’s love interest, an illiterate wench named Helvetica.”

Deadline.com: “Gutenberg! is a gleefully self-aware theater parody that’s smart enough to tickle the aficionados and flat-out funny enough to bring in outsiders. Few in either group will long remember the pastiche score, but even fewer will get through the show’s impeccably performed tunes without smiling.”

New York Theater.me: “If “Gutenberg! The Musical!” were written with any nuance, we might be able to see this tone deaf (and poorly timed) riff on antisemitism as a pointed glimpse into Bud and Doug’s limitations. But the show with the two exclamation points in the title is meant only to make you laugh, and so the limitation has to be attributed to the duo who actually created it, Anthony King and Scott Brown, childhood friends from Durham, North Carolina — not Nutley, New Jersey, where their stand-ins live.  Putting down New Jersey is a standard stand-up comic’s go-to motif, but it’s lazy.”

The Wrap: “Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells bring a great Oscar-and-Felix chemistry to the stage. They also work tirelessly and exert their considerable charm, but in the end, they’re asking us to be entertained by a two-hander staging of an absolutely dreadful musical. Yes, the songs and the book for this parody of a musical within a musical that is “Gutenberg!” are witless and relentlessly repetitive, which is to be expected from the team of Scott Brown and Anthony King, who gave us one of the worst Broadway musicals of this century, “Beetlejuice.” That show now has a companion piece in the Netherland.”

New York Theatre Guide: *** “In the end, Gutenberg! presses beyond pure goofiness to deliver a sweet message about going for one’s dreams. Another idea emerges, too. Between the visible musicians, the brick wall, and the prominent door, the show’s set bears a bit of a resemblance to Saturday Night Live. There, like on Broadway, the best sketches leave you wanting more.”

Theatre Mania.com: “The problem with writing fake bad lyrics pulled from a rhyming dictionary is that it still forces us to listen to bad lyrics. That those lyrics are now being sung on Broadway doesn’t justify their existence, and the charm of witnessing self-consciously bad theater wears off over the course of two hours, 15 minutes (including intermission). Gutenberg! feels a lot like beating a horse that has been dead for years.”

The Stage: ** “Stellar double act Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad have a blast in a musical two-hander that comes close to going off the rails.”

New York Stage Review: *** “How much you’ll enjoy the results will depend greatly on your tolerance for very silly jokes and your fondness for the two stars. The pair appear to be having a fine old time onstage, displaying the sort of chemistry that seems the result of their well-meshed comedic styles and warm rapport. They work beautifully together, garnering laughs not only from the wittier dialogue and bits of business but also from their jovial presences.”

To find out more about the musical visit: https://gutenbergbway.com/


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