Tickets go on sale on May 15. Seen Off-Broadway and in London, the musical — with two quick-change actors and one pianist — is now dawning in regional theatre.
Obie Award-winning director Alex Timbers and co-director Ian Unterman will lead the creative team in Chicago, with musical direction by T.O. Sterrett.
"In this hilarious two-man musical spoof, a pair of aspiring writers performs a backers' audition for their new project — a big, splashy musical about printing press inventor Johann Gutenberg, the evil monk who tries to stop him, and the beautiful woman who loves him," according to producers. "With an unending supply of enthusiasm, Bud and Doug sing songs and play over 30 roles in the outrageous play within a play. The duo hope that one of the producers in attendance will give them a Broadway contract, fulfilling their bright-eyed, and ill-advised, dreams."
Casting for the Chicago run will be announced at a later date.
Gutenberg! was the first Off-Broadway transfer from the acclaimed Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, where it was originally developed in 2003 and showcased in 2005 at the New York Musical Theatre Festival as part of the Comedy Series. The show's critically acclaimed world premiere followed, opening at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London in January 2006. These performances featured authors Scott Brown and Anthony King in the starring roles of Bud and Doug. In September 2006 the U.S. premiere of Gutenberg! was presented as part of the third annual New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it received three NYMF Awards, including Excellence in Musical Theatre Writing (Book) for Scott Brown and Anthony King.
A limited engagement followed the festival at 59E59 Theaters in December 2006. It then transferred to The Actors' Playhouse in Greenwich Village in January of 2007.
The Chicago production is presented by John Pinckard. As an inaugural recipient of the prestigious T. Edward Hambleton Fellowship for gifted commercial producers, Pinckard has worked under the mentorship of Hal Prince, Margo Lion, Gregory Mosher and director Jack O'Brien.
Co-authors Scott Brown and Anthony King were nominated for a 2007 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical.
Director Alex Timbers' credits include A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant at the New York Theatre Workshop, for which he won an Obie Award and Garland Award for Best Director; Hell House at St. Ann's Warehouse, which was nominated for a Drama Desk for Unique Theatrical Experience; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at the Center Theatre Group in L.A.; and Boozy for The Culture Project. He is the artistic director of the award-winning theatre company Les Freres Corbusier.
Musical director T.O. Sterrett's Broadway credits include pianist, keyboards and assistant conductor for Wicked, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar (revival), and Dance of the Vampires.
The performance schedule for Gutenberg! The Musical! is Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 5 and 9 PM, and Sunday at 3 and 7 PM through July 27. Tickets are $35. Student and senior discounts are also available. Tickets can be purchased at the Royal George Box Office, 1641 N. Halsted, Chicago, or by phone at (312) 988-9000. Tickets can also be purchased through Ticketmaster, (312) 902-1500, Ticketmaster.com or all Ticketmaster ticket centers. For more information please visit www.gutenbergthemusical.com.