GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL to Open in the Rep's Stackner Cabaret, 8/26
Milwaukee Repertory Theater's 2012/13 Season kicks off with the wacky, award-winning musical comedy, Gutenberg! The Musical! Two men, one pianist, thirty baseball caps – and one massively misguided dream! In 1450, in Mainz, Germany, Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press; in 2012, in Nutley, New Jersey, Bud and Doug wrote a big, splashy musical about him, the evil monk trying to stop him and the beautiful girl who loved him. They may not have a cast, an orchestra or a clue, but with an unending supply of enthusiasm, they're pitching their hilarious, 16-song epic to Broadway producers who just might fulfill their bright-eyed ambitions! The play is written by Scott Brown and Anthony King with original Music Direction and Arrangements by T. O. Sterrett. and will be directed by Rep Associate Artist Laura Gordon, who directed last season's delightful production of In the Next Room or the vibrator play. Gutenberg! The Musical! features comedic actor and Rep Associate Artist Gerard Neugent, former Milwaukee Rep Acting Intern Eric Damon Smith and frequent Rep collaborator Musical Director/Pianist Paul Helm. Gutenberg! The Musical runs in the Stackner Cabaret from August 24 – October 14, and opens Sunday, August 26.
"Anyone who likes the zany humor of Monty Python will love this show about two guys and a pianist pitching an incredibly ludicrous, over-the-top musical filled with 16 ridiculous songs," says Artistic Director Mark Clements. "It's been on my list of pieces to produce for awhile, and now is the right now. It's a two-hour festival of silliness, laughter and joy – come and enjoy!"
"The premise of the piece is that two guys, Bud and Doug, have written a musical about Johann Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press," added director Laura Gordon. "Tonight is the night that they are pitching this fabulous show to potential Broadway producers. It's a "reading" of the musical, so there's no set, no real props and no cast. Bud and Doug must play all the parts themselves. And that's where the fun begins. They are so proud and so excited, and don't have a clue that their material isn't really as good as Wicked or Les Miserables. This show is very, very funny . . . but it's also quite charming. Bud and Doug love theater. They love to dream big. And they're having the best night of their lives."
Gutenberg! The Musical! was originally workshopped at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York and the 2005 New York Musical Theatre Festival. The first two-act version premiered in London in January 2006. Since its premiere, the show has been performed extensively throughout the U.S. as well as internationally in Australia and Finland. The musical has won numerous awards including the 2007 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. Playwrights Scott Brown and Anthony King won the 2007 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical and Gutenberg! The Musical! also won the 2007 Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical.
Gerard Neugent (Doug) just completed his tenth season with The Rep, his sixth as a member of The Rep's Resident Acting Company and, with the start of the 2012/13 Season, is now a Rep Associate Artist. He recently appeared as Iago in The Rep's Quadracci Powerhouse production of Othello; other recent productions include The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) in the Stackner Cabaret and as Michael McCormick in Lombardi on the Quadracci Powerhouse stage. Other roles include Happy in Death of a Salesman, Clown 2 in The 39 Steps and Stan Laurel in Laurel and Hardy.
Eric Damon Smith (Bud) is a former Milwaukee Rep acting intern from the 2002/03 Season. Recent credits include: Jaques in As You Like It (Muse of Fire); Mosca in Volpone (City Lit); Jamie in Long Day's Journey into Night (Polarity Ensemble) and his Jeff Award-nominated turn as Flaminio Scala in the regional premiere of The Glorious Ones (Boho and Theatre on the Lake). Other credits include work with Northlight Theatre, Remy Bumppo and Riverside Theater.
Paul Helm (Music Director/Pianist) returns to The Rep after performing in Always . . . Patsy Cline last season.Other Rep credits include: Laurel and Hardy, Guys on Ice, Life Could Be a Dream, Why Do Fools Fall in Love?, The Polish Diva from Milwaukee and Blue Rose: The Rosemary Clooney Story. Recent credits include: Packer Fans from Outer Space, Gershwin and Friends, The Music Man, Seussical, Grease, Ragtime, U: Bug: Me!, Beauty and the Beast, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Elmer Gantry (2012 Grammy award winner).
The Creative Team for Gutenberg! The Musical! includes: Stephen Carmody (Scenic Designer) whose recent design credits include Around the World in 80 Days and Bad Dates (Fox Valley Rep); Pippin (The Music Theatre Company) and Changes of Heart (Remy Bumppo), among others; Rachel Laritz (Costume Designer) who returns to The Rep after designing last season's Song Man Dance Man; other Rep designs include Laurel and Hardy, Almost, Maine, Happy Now?, A Year of Magical Thinking, Glengarry Glen Ross, Grafton City Blues and Edward Albee's Seascape, to name a few; Charles Cooper (Lighting Designer) is a Chicago-based lighting designer making his Milwaukee Rep debut; recent work includes Hairspray and Curtains (Drury Lane Oakbrook); A Wrinkle in Time (First Stage Children's Theater) and Love, Loss and What I Work (Asolo Rep Theater and first National Tour), among others: Sarah Hoffmann (Stage Manager) returns to The Rep after stage managing Always . . . Pasty Cline last season; Jason Simpson (Stage Management Apprentice) returns to The Rep this season after being a stage management intern last season and Maggie Ellsworth (Assistant Director) is a member of this year's Artistic Intern Ensemble.
Scott Brown, (playwright) is a writer, critic and performer. His work has appeared in Wired (for which he is a monthly columnist), Entertainment Weekly, GQ, New York and TIME, among other outlets. He appeared at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on several occasions. Also with Anthony King, he developed pilots for CBS and A&E. He and Anthony King were both raised in Durham, NC. Scott's "funny" "songs" sometimes appear suddenly and without warning on the internet, and disappear almost as fast.
Anthony King, (playwright) is writer, director, and performer – and the Artistic Director of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC. As an actor, Anthony has been featured on MTV's Human Giant, Comedy Central's Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and in the feature film, Mystery Team. He is also a member of the UCBT Touring Company and tours from time to time with "Horatio Sanz and The Kings Of Improv." Anthony's regional and NYC directing credits include: 1940s Radio Hour, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mister (starring Anthony Rapp), A Chorus Line and many others. Other notable directing credits: The Patriots (HBO Aspen Comedy Festival), AZIZ ANSARI Punched A Wall, Who's Your Daddy? (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), God & Pottery (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, "Best Newcomers"), Listen Kid (NY Music Theatre Festival) and more. He was also the Assistant Director of the Off-Broadway shows Summer of 42 and The Wild Party (Lippa) and is a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab. Anthony has written for GQ, Details and Entertainment Weekly magazines, and he has written for television's A&E, Comedy Central and CBS/Paramount.
Laura Gordon (Director) first began working at The Rep in 1993. As a director, her credits at The Rep include In the Next Room or the vibrator play, Speaking in Tongues, Laurel and Hardy, Almost, Maine, Edward Albee's Seascape, Half Life and I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda. Elsewhere she has directed The Royal Family and Old Times (American Players Theatre); The Winter's Tale (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Well (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre); Skin Tight, Memory House, Full Gallop (Renaissance Theaterworks) and Going to St. Ives (Forward Theater Company). As an actress she has appeared in over 75 productions at The Rep including Death of a Salesman, The Lady with All the Answers, Pride and Prejudice, Enchanted April, The Crucible, Doubt, The Clean House, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Mary Stuart, Endgame and Copenhagen. She received a Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship in 2010 and is Milwaukee Rep Associate Artist.
Tickets for Gutenberg! The Musical! start at $35.00. Single Tickets for all of Milwaukee Repertory Theater's 2012/13 productions are now on sale and can be purchased online 24/7 at www.MilwaukeeRep.com, through The Rep's Ticket Office by calling 414-224-9490 or in person at 108 E. Wells Street. Group tickets are also available for purchase by calling Patron Relations Manager Christine Yundem at 414-290-5340.
Subscriptions are also currently on sale. Subscription prices for the 2012/13 Season range from $60 – $468. Packages available are the Ultimate 11-play package which includes the entire season spanning all three of The Rep's performance spaces; Quadracci Powerhouse/Stackner 9-play package; Quadracci Powerhouse/Stiemke Studio 7-play package; Quadracci Powerhouse 5-play package; Stackner Cabaret 4-Play package as well as a Create Your Own Season package and FlexPasses. For additional information on subscription offerings, please contact The Rep's Ticket Office at 414-224-9490 or visit www.MilwaukeeRep.com.
Milwaukee Repertory Theater is a nationally-recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works, full-scale musicals and side-splitting comedies housed in its three unique performance venues – the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol at the Pabst Theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements, The Rep is committed to creating plays that are meaningful and relevant to the society we live in – plays that are challenging, visceral and engage the community through the issues they explore. To learn more about The Rep or its productions, please visit www.MilwaukeeRep.com.