Fans of drama, comedy, musicals and a little bit of history have a real treat in store for them this weekend.
That’s because Hatbox Theatre will host two showings of the quirky play Gutenberg! The Musical! – one on Saturday night and one Sunday afternoon.
The show has a lot going on, but at its core it’s basically about two struggling playwrights who have written a play (about Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of movable type) that they’re trying to get on Broadway, but they must perform the whole show by themselves. As you might imagine, things don’t exactly go smoothly.
“It’s this ridiculous, quirky little show that’s got this bizarre sense of humor – just the kind of stuff we love,” Doug Schwarz, one of the two stars of the show, told us last year as he prepared for a performance at the Capitol Center for the Arts.
“The play is hilarious and the songs are fun,” said Dave Peck, the other star.
Schwarz and Peck have been friends for 40 years, and Schwarz – a longtime member of the Community Players of Concord – is pretty active in the theater scene. And since the play deals with two guys having to literally wear a lot of hats, it works out that these two have a real relationship that allows them to work well together. In a way, the play loosely resembles what Schwarz and Peck are doing in real life.
“Part of the whole fun is, how do two guys with nothing but themselves put on a Broadway show? How do they pull that off?” Schwarz said.
Without giving too much away, it all revolves around a hefty supply of baseball caps, complete with name tags so you know which character the actor is portraying at a given moment.
We saw the rehearsal last February, and it was clear that there’s chemistry – both professional and friendly – between Peck and Schwarz, which is really what makes the show. It’s also worth mentioning that the show is accompanied by a live pianist, Brandon Buteau, which really ties it all together.
Gutenberg! The Musical! will be at Hatbox at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $16.50 for adults and $13.50 for students, seniors and members. For more, go to hatboxnh.com.