Press freedom

Gutenberg! The Musical! Thu 7pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 8pm. Through 5/13; $10-$15; Visit website to find location for each performance;
Rated 4.0

Gutenberg! The Musical! delivers 90 minutes of zaniness presented by Davis’s newest company, Bike City Theatre Company. Doug (Kevin Gish) and Bud (Kyle Stoner) are enthusiastic playwrights who have written a musical about the inventor of the printing press. The performance is staged as a backer’s audition, as the performers seek funding to bring the show to Broadway.

Doug and Bud admit that after an extensive Google search, they’ve found information about Gutenberg, so they have made up “facts” about how a winemaker in Schlimmer, Germany came to turn his wine press into a printing press so that the members of the town might learn to read.

The two actors play some 20 or more characters, each identified by a hat with a character’s name on it. (The “kick line” of five dancers is ingenious). The action is non-stop madcap comedy.

The dialog is filled with lots of groaners. For example Gutenberg tells his girlfriend, the lovely Helvetica (who spends most of her time stomping grapes), that he loves lamb stew. “I love ewe,” he says. “Me?” she responds.

As Bike City Theatre has no permanent home, the show is being presented in several venues around town—two breweries, a kava bar, an art gallery, the idea being to bring theater to people who might not otherwise go to theater.

Gutenberg! gives us a much needed opportunity to “sit back, laugh and not take life too seriously for a short while,” promises artistic director J.R. Yancher.