Josh Gad, Andrew Rannells Broadway Comedy ‘Gutenberg! The Musical’ Recoups $6.75 Million Investment

Hats off to “Gutenberg! The Musical!” The Broadway show, starring Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells (whose characters wear dozens of caps) as they reunited 12 years after “The Book of Mormon,” has recouped its initial investment of $6.75 million. During the show’s 20-week run, “Gutenberg” generated plenty of buzz and became one of the rare new productions to break through to audiences during post-pandemic times.

First conceived at the Upright Citizens Brigade and later produced Off Broadway, “Gutenberg” follows two theater composers who attempt to attract potential investors for a musical about Johannes Gutenberg, creator of the printing press. The only caveat: they know almost nothing about Gutenberg beyond a quick Google search. Clips from the show-within-a-show often went viral on TikTok thanks to surprise appearances from “guest producers” including Hillary Clinton, Steve Martin and Martin Short, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anne Hathaway and Anna Wintour, Will Ferrell and Audra McDonald, who (spoiler alert!) present the main characters with official Broadway contracts to back their wacky endeavor.

“Gutenberg” concluded its limited run on Jan. 28. In its final week, the show set a box office benchmark at the James Earl Jones Theatre with $1.463 million. It broke its own record from the week of Dec. 31, 2023 when “Gutenberg” grossed $1.28 million. Rannells and Gad have recorded a cast album, which will be available in the spring.

Alex Timbers, who helmed the original Off Broadway show, directed “Gutenberg,” as well as “Beetlejuice” and “Here Lies Love.” The design team includes Scott Pask (scenic design), Emily Rebholz (costume design), Jeff Croiter (lighting design), M.L. Dogg & Cody Spencer (sound design), T.O. Sterrett (music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations), Marco Paguia (music director), Liz Caplan (vocal supervision), C12 Casting (casting director) and Rachel Sterner (production stage manager).

Prouvaire avatar

I didn't think it was possible for a Broadway musicals these days to be capitalised at "only" $6.75 million. But I suppose it helps that Gutenberg is a two-person show (plus cameos) with very modest set, costume and band requirements. And as entertaining as Gutenberg is (I didn't see the Broadway production, but a local one some years ago), I hope "bare bones" doesn't become a template for future Broadway or West End musicals.

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