The opening night performance of Gutenberg! The Musical! had quite a surprise in store for the audience...and from the looks on their faces, maybe even the stars of the show? Three-time Tony winner Nathan Lane made an onstage appearance as The Producer opposite Gutenberg!'s Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells. See video of the surprise cameo above.
In Gutenberg! The Musical!, Gad and Rannells play two hopeful theatremakers presenting their unproduced new musical about Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, to an audience of potential backers. Spoiler alert: at the end of the show, a "big Broadway producer" appears to make their dreams come true. For the October 12 opening night performance, that Broadway producer was Max Bialystock, played by Nathan Lane. (Bialystock is, of course, Lane's Tony-winning role from the Mel Brooks musical The Producers.) "This show is fantastic. I had the same feeling when I saw Cats!" Lane, as Bialystock, exclaimed to a joyful audience and somewhat stunned-looking Rannells and Gad.
The show has had a rotating list of celebrity guest stars in the role of The Producer, including Cynthia Erivo, Jonathan Groff, JJ Abrams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Richard Kind, Nikki M. James, F. Murray Abraham, Annaleigh Ashford, and Leslie Odom, Jr.
Tony winner Alex Timbers directs the two-hander, written by Scott Brown and Anthony King. The creative team also includes scenic designer Scott Pask, costume designer Emily Rebholz, lighting designer Jeff Croiter, and sound designers M.L. Dogg and Cody Spencer. Music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations are by T.O. Sterrett, vocal supervision is by Liz Caplan, and music direction is by Marco Paguia. Casting is by C12 Casting. Rachel Sterner serves as production stage manager. Russell Daniels and Sam Hartley are standbys for Bud and Doug.