by Joe Basque, Contributor
Bud and Doug love musicals. Love. Musicals. They love musicals so much they wrote one, about Gutenberg and his printing press, and it’s bound to be a Broadway hit. All they need are a couple of investors.
The Candy Project’s latest offering, “Gutenberg, The Musical!” takes the audience to their backer’s audition. This “musical within a show” features Bud (Dan Chevalier) and Doug (Steve Krambeck), two hapless dreamers whose lack of talent is only outpaced by their hopelessly inept research. Johann Gutenberg converts his wine press into a printing press to save his home town from illiteracy. Buoyed by his loving assistant Helvetica and thwarted at every turn by a devil worshipping monk, Gutenberg alters the course of human history. Meanwhile, Bud and Doug raid nearly every musical theater convention and play over two dozen characters in a joyous attempt to win backers for their production.
Producer Cathy Hirsch (one of the Candy Project’s founders) has had her eye on the musical for several years. “It was a hit at the New York Musical Theater Festival, where we also found ‘[title of show]’. ‘[title of show]’ went on to win a TAG Award for Outstanding Musical Production in 2011, and earned Randall T. Stevens the award for Outstanding Director of a Musical. Stevens is back to direct “Gutenberg.” Tim Vallier music directs. The show, which requires no set, improvised props and no costume changes (other than lots and lots of hats) is perfect for the Pizza Shoppe Collective space in downtown Benson. It is also the perfect setting for a dinner and show date night. “Come early, order a pizza and have a beer” says Hirsch.
Established in 2008 by Hirsch, Chevalier, Andy King (who recently returned to Omaha performing in a national touring production of “Camelot”) and Amanda Dills (Miller), The Candy Project has specialized in bringing little-known works of musical theatre to Omaha. Hirsch has pursued other projects since 2011; namely her twins Holly and Mickey. She is excited to finally put her producer hat back on.
“Gutenberg! The Musical!” is set for a nine show run at the Pizza Shoppe Collective, located in the heart of downtown Benson (6056 Maple Street). Show dates are March 27-29, April 10-12, and April 17-19. There will be a TAG Nite Out performance on Thursday, March 26. All performances have a 7:30pm show time. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students & TAG members, and can be purchased on the Candy Project’s website at: www.thecandyproject.com. You may also call in your reservation at 402.957.2827.