[ theater ]
This theatrical whirlwind imagines two hapless writers pitching their show to Broadway producers, simultaneously providing a musical-theater dramaturgy tutorial while proudly sharing the worst example of the form ever. Their historical fiction — “Fiction that’s true,” they note — tells a ridiculously twisted version of printing-press inventor Johannes Gutenberg’s story. Though set circa 1450, they add Holocaust allusions “because it makes the show important,” and the local Germans speak in “old-timey” Cockney accents. The scribes play all the roles, identifying characters with labeled caps (“Beef Fat Trimmer” steals some scenes) and also using caps as props (“rats,” “feces” — hey, it’s the Middle Ages). Better even than real writers Scott Brown and Anthony King’s inspired lunacy are Tony Braithwaite and Steve Pacek’s hyperactive performances, supported by hilariously reluctant accompanist Sonny Leo and smartly directed by Tom Quinn at Souderton’s Montgomery Theater, where Gutenberg! has played the past month. This not-to-be-missed co-production moves to Ambler’s Act II Playhouse (where Braithwaite is artistic director) this week.
Through Nov. 4, $15-$38, Act II Playhouse, 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, 215-654-0200, act2playhouse.org.