Gutenberg a Must See at the Vancouver Fringe

Its not too often, in fact it’s never happened to me before, that you get offered a free book while waiting in line to see a stage play.

The man with the bag of books is director Brian Anderson who’s done an amazing job with Gutenberg! the Musical!

The free paperback is just the first of many treats in store as characters Bud and Doug take us on a ‘reading of the musical’ they’ve written about the man who invented the printing press. Defeated by Google in their attempt at researching Johann Gutenberg, Bud and Doug opt instead for an ‘historical fiction’ version – as they say “It’s fiction – but its true”.

The two actors, like director Anderson, are both Theatre Sports vets – Nathan Clark plays Doug, and Ken Lawson plays Bud. The two play over 20 characters, including a complete Broadway chorus line and a bevy of singing mice rats.

They sing, they dance, they cry; more importantly, they pull it off. Under the deft and thoughtful direction of Anderson, what could easily turn into a big broad mess wins us over within the first few minutes, and holds right until the end.

In this show timing is everything, and Clark and Lawson never miss a beat – or rather – know when to take a beat, and let the comedy work. A good Fringe show pulls you into its big warm bosum and smothers you with heart – these guys, along with pianist Matt Grinke (who’s awesome), ace it.

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There are only 3 shows left – Sept 10th at 9:15, Sept 13th at 3:15, and Sept 14th at 7:15. Advance tickets at the Festival Box office or at the venue (the Arts Club mainstage on Granville Island) 50 minutes before the show.

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