Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Song and Dance Men

If you live in the Jackson, Miss., area, and you haven't been to see Gutenberg! The Musical! at New Stage Theatre, it's definitely worth checking out. I brought a group of three friends with me to the show last Saturday, and we laughed and laughed and LAUGHED.

Basically, it's a two-man musical comedy. Bud and Doug, two nerdy little guys whose day jobs include working at Starbucks and at a nursing home, have written a musical about Johan Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. The show's premise is that these two are giving a "staged reading" of the piece to a small audience, with the hopes that there's a Broadway producer ensconced somewhere in the audience. So, our two guys play ALL the characters and sing all the songs in their show.

The script has a very SNL vibe (it was developed by the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre), and the two actors the theatre cast are perfect in their roles. Turner Crumbley plays Doug, who stands in as Gutenberg and numerous other characters. Danny Dauphin plays Bud, who most notably performs the roles of Monk (the villain) and the hilariously feminine Helvetica.

I spent most of the show laughing so hard I had coughing fits. The rest of the time, I was smiling so hard that my face hurt when I left the theatre.

I will admit - this show is not for everybody. It's not standarad mainstage fare for New Stage, and it skews well outside the preferences of their older supporters. I imagine that a patron will either love it or hate it.

However, I think it's a great attempt to get younger audiences involved and enchanted, something that every major arts organization in the Jackson area is trying to do. Well done.

The show plays through September 27, so it's not too late to catch it! Call the box office at 601-948-3533 to get tickets!

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