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Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012

Milwaukee Rep Sells 'Gutenberg' as a Musical

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When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 15th century, it was a defining moment in human history that ushered in the era of mass communication. Was it also the perfect subject for a big, splashy Broadway musical? Perhaps not. But get a couple of guys in baseball caps at a piano to pitch that premise? Evidently that sells.

In the mid-2000s, Scott Brown and Anthony King created the fun musical comedy Gutenberg! The Musical! It debuted off-Broadway and has since premiered in England and Australia. Now, the Milwaukee Rep has chosen to open its season with Gutenberg!

Gerard Neugent and Chicago-based Eric Damon Smith play the two guys who are pitching the show. Rep favorite Neugent covered similar ground last season, when he appeared in the Rep's production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). This should be another blend of fast-paced comedy.

Pianist and musical director Paul Helm, who has done extensive work in and around Milwaukee for a wide range of companies, brings his talents to the production as well. The Rep's Laura Gordon will direct. Though she is often associated with drama, Gordon has also shown a clever, subtle sense of humor that should aid the production immensely.

The Milwaukee Rep's production of Gutenberg! The Musical! runs Aug. 24-Oct. 14 at the Stackner Cabaret. For ticket reservations, call 414-224-9490.

Theater Happenings


  • The Milwaukee Rep opens the season on its main stage with a production of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, a strange musical-theater exploration of those who have attempted to take the lives of U.S. presidents. The show runs Sept. 4-Oct. 7 at the Quadracci Powerhouse. For ticket reservations, call 414-224-9490.
  • Skylight Music Theatre opens its season with a production of Avenue Q, a very adult musical with some particularly adult puppets. The talented Rick Pendzich stars in a cast that explores the nature of human connection in the modern world. Avenue Q runs Sept. 21-Oct. 14 at the Cabot Theatre. For ticket reservations, call 414-291-7800.
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