Around The Town

Broadway Update

Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells in Gutenberg! The Musical.

By: David Sheward

June 22, 2023: Book of Mormon co-stars Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells will be reunited in the Broadway premiere of Gutenberg! The Musical, written by Tony and Emmy nominees Scott Brown and Anthony King and directed by Tony winner Alex Timbers who staged the show’s original Off-Broadway production in 2006. Previews for the two-man musical begin Sept. 15 at the James Earl Jones Theater prior to an Oct. 12 opening.

Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad in ‘Funny or Die”.

Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells in Gutenberg! The Musical.

By: David Sheward

June 22, 2023: Book of Mormon co-stars Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells will be reunited in the Broadway premiere of Gutenberg! The Musical, written by Tony and Emmy nominees Scott Brown and Anthony King and directed by Tony winner Alex Timbers who staged the show’s original Off-Broadway production in 2006. Previews for the two-man musical begin Sept. 15 at the James Earl Jones Theater prior to an Oct. 12 opening.

The show is set at a backers’ audition where playwrights Bud and Doug are playing all the parts in their musical based on the life of the titular inventor of the printing press. The show-within-a-show parodies typical Broadway musical moments such as the big opening number, kicklines, emotional ballads, and a “charm” song about biscuits. The many characters include Gutenberg himself, his girlfriend-assistant Helvetica, and the villain of the piece, an evil Monk who wants to keep mankind in ignorance.

Christopher Fitzgerald and Jeremy Shamos in the 2006 Off-Broadway production of Gutenberg! The Musical.

Gutenberg was first a 45-minute one-act developed at the Upright Citizens Brigade. From there the show appeared in the 2005 Musical Theater Festival starring the authors. The show returned for the 2006 Musical Theater Festival in a two-act form with Christopher Fitzgerald and Jeremy Shamos. Timbers came on board for the 2006 Off-Broadway production at 59E59 Theaters which transferred to the Actors Playhouse for a six-month run. It was nominated for Best Off-Broadway Musical for the Lortel and Outer Critics Award and for Outstanding Book and Direction for the Drama Desk Awards.

Josh Gad said, “It’s been 12 years since I’ve been on a Broadway stage. And after 12 years, the only person who would agree to take the stage with me again was my co-star from 12 years ago. I am grateful that Andrew Rannells said yes, because I really didn’t have the energy to do a one-man show. Together, he and I have joined an all-star team that includes the director of Moulin Rouge, the producer of the Star Trek films, and a rag tag collection of other Mad Lib credentials that should excite, invigorate, and slightly confuse eager audiences. But one thing will be clear… not since the invention of the printing press has the name ‘Gutenberg’ held such promise. And as a team, we intend to honor the man who is directly responsible for the mass production of our show’s Playbills.”

Andrew Rannells said, “After years of relentless stalking and countless restraining orders, Josh Gad has finally gotten me to agree to share the stage with him again. I decided it was best to just give in and honestly, it feels right to be reunited with my onstage missionary companion. Also, it was clear he would not leave me alone until I said yes.”

Alex Timbers said, “Josh and Andrew are two of the funniest and most inventive musical theater stars working today. We’ve been discussing collaborating for several years and the chance to do it on Gutenberg! is a true thrill, as it’s a one-of-a-kind showcase for their virtuosity, wild irreverence, and cheeky wit. I can’t wait for Broadway to see these two dynamos frantically switch between dozens and dozens of comic roles in this breathtaking tour de force written by my hilarious Beetlejuice collaborators Scott Brown and Anthony King.”

Scott Brown and Anthony King said, “We always said there’s no way we’d do our show about two dreamers hoping to go to Broadway ON Broadway unless Josh Gad, Andrew Rannells, and Alex Timbers did it with us. And dammit, they called our bluff. And we couldn’t be more thrilled. That our warped little valentine to musical theater will have the chance to reach a Broadway audience – it means the world to us.”

2023-24 Broadway/Off-Broadway Calendar

June 22–Once Upon a One More Time (Marquis)

June 25–The Great Gatsby (The Gatsby Mansion at the Park Central Hotel)

June 26–Just for Us (Hudson)

June 28–Hamlet (Delacorte/Shakespeare in the Park) 

July 9–Orpheus Descending (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)

July 20–Here Lies Love (Broadway)

July 20–Flex (Mitzi Newhouse/LCT)

July 24–The Cottage (Hayes)

Aug. 3–Back to the Future (Marquis)

Aug. 10–The Shark Is Broken (Golden)

Aug. 20–El Mago Pop (Barrymore)

Aug. 27–The Tempest (Delacorte/Shakespeare in the Park)

Sept. 7–Purlie Victorious (begins previews; opening TBA) (Music Box)

Sept. 19–Merrily We Roll Along (begins previews; opening TBA) (Hudson)

Sept. 28–Melissa Etheridge: My Window (Circle in the Square)

September–Here We Are (The Shed Griffin Theater)

September–The Refuge Plays (Roundabout/NYTW/Laura Pels)

October–I Need That (Roundabout/AA)

Oct. 4–DruidO’Casey (Public/NYU Skirball Center)

Oct. 12–Gutenberg! The Musical (James Earl Jones)

Nov. 13–Harmony (Barrymore)

Nov. 19–Hell’s Kitchen (Public)

Nov.–Appropriate (Second Stage/Hayes)

Nov.–Spain (Second Stage/Terry Kiser)

Dec. 5–Manhatta (Public)

Jan. 9–Prayer for the French Republic (MTC/Friedman)

Feb.–Doubt: A Parable (Roundabout/AA)

Feb.–The Ally (Public)

March–Sally and Tom (Public)

April–Cabaret

April–Jordans (Public)

June–Cats (Perelman Performing Arts Center)

Fall 2023

Jaja’s African Hair Braiding (MTC/Friedman)

I Can Get It for You Wholesale (CSC)

Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage I)

Winter 2023-24

An Enemy of the People

I Love You So Much I Could Die (NYTW)

Pericles (CSC)

Spring 2024

Here There Are Blueberries (NYTW)

Home (Roundabout/AA)

Jonah (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

Paula Vogel Play (Second Stage/Hayes)

Wine in the Wilderness (CSC)

The Wiz

Fall 2024

King Lear (Kenneth Branagh Theater Company/The Shed)

2024-25

Smash

Future–Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death; Black Orpheus; BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical; Come Fall in Love–The DDLJ Musical; The Devil Wears Prada; Ella: An American Miracle; Everybody’s Talking About Jamie; Frida, the Musical; Game of Thrones; The Great Gatsby; The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation; High Noon; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; The Karate Kid; La La Land; Lempicka; Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; The Mousetrap; Nancy Drew and the Mystery at Spotlight Manor; Our Town; Pal Joey; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; The Secret Garden; Sing Street; Soul Train; Water for Elephants; What a Wonderful World; The Who’s Tommy; Working Girl