Press On

What happens when a subpar playwright teams up with an inept songwriter to write a show about a historical figure about whom no history is known?  You get the musical nobody was waiting for.  It’s Gutenberg!  The Musical!  and it’s currently playing at the Omaha Community Playhouse under the auspices of The Candy Project.

I’ve long said that you have to be really great at something in order to pretend to be really bad at it and Anthony King and Scott Brown prove that belief with a rollicking, laugh yourself hoarse comedy.  This show takes the idea of the story within a story and turns it on its head with what I’ll call a summary in a frame.

The framing device for the show is that Doug and Bud are testing their new musical about Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, in front of an audience with Broadway producers in hopes to get their show on the Great White Way.  To that end they give a reading of their show complete with songs and it’s the tops in lows.  One wonders what is more appalling:  their grasp of history, their knowledge of dialects (German characters speak with British, or Texan in one case, accents), or their complete inability to write, even accidentally, one quality word or song lyric. 

Kaitlyn McClincy’s direction conjures some real magic in this production.  Her eye for a gag is splendid and she has some beauts such as one of her performers being blasted in the face with water from a spray bottle to emulate a storm or another having a wrestling match with a tarp.  She keeps the pace snappy and has molded two top of the line performances with her pair of thespians.

This show really needs a dynamic duo as there’s a symbiotic relationship between the two of them that makes it next door to impossible to separate the performances.  Luckily this show has just such a duo in the forms of two of Omaha’s finest comedic talents:  Steve Krambeck and Dan Chevalier.

Their chemistry and timing are things of beauty and their energy is staggering as the show is the equivalent of running a sprint.  Krambeck and Chevalier’s Doug and Bud really come off like old friends who truly love the theatre, but just lack any particular talent in that area, though Bud can at least write a melody.

Both men get multiple chances to shine as they morph into the myriad characters of their show with some personal favorites being Krambeck’s portrayal of the slightly arrogant title character and the abused Young Monk who believes his love has the power to transform Monk (the show’s villain) into a better person. Chevalier’s Texan Monk and his Anti-Semitic Flower Girl are also massive rib ticklers.

Their “real” selves are also the source for plenty of amusement as Doug clearly has some unrequited feelings towards Bud and Bud is a lonely virgin which reflects in some of his song lyrics.

Both actors are also gifted tenor singers who nail their numbers especially with Chevalier’s renditions of “Haunted German Wood” which tells the origin story of Monk’s evil and was my personal favorite song and “Monk With Me” where he tries to corrupt Gutenberg into giving up his dreams of a literate society.  Likewise Krambeck soars with Act I’s rocking finale “Tomorrow Is Tonight” and my other favorite song, “Might As Well (Go To Hell)” which somehow finds the humor in the unsavory topic of suicide.

Tim Vallier’s musical direction is right on the mark as he understands the humor and beats of the songs and they are excellently performed by Sara Collins on piano.

In many ways, this show is theatre in its purest form.  No costumes (except for a series of ball caps).  No set.  No lights.  No sound.  Just two storytellers and a pianist giving the wonderful gift of laughter in a show guaranteed to chase the blues away.

Gutenberg!  The Musical! runs at the Omaha Community Playhouse through June 27. Showtimes are Thurs-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased at the OCP Box Office or by calling 402-553-0800 or visiting The Omaha Community Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass St in Omaha, NE.

‘Gutenberg: The Musical’ Opening at OCP

Omaha, NE.– The Omaha Community Playhouse and The Candy Project are proud to present Gutenberg! The Musical!, opening Friday, June 4, 2021 in the Howard Drew Theatre at OCP. The show will run through Sunday, June 27, Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets are on sale now starting at $30 with prices varying by performance. Tickets may be purchased at the OCP Box Office, 6915 Cass St., Omaha, NE 68132, by phone at (402) 553-0800 or online at


Join The Candy Project, friends of OCP, for a special presentation of Gutenberg! The Musical! A pair of aspiring playwrights audition their newest work—a big, splashy musical about the inventor of the printing press—for an audience of potential investors. This two-man musical spoof offers an unending supply of enthusiasm and laughs.

Produced By: Cathy Hirsch and The Candy Project

Directed By: Kaitlyn McClincy


Dan Chevalier as Bud
Steve Krambeck as Doug

OCP Reimagines 96th Season


Omaha, NE.– The Omaha Community Playhouse has announced a new, revamped 2020/21 season lineup with special precautions in place to protect audiences, volunteers and staff from COVID-19.


This year, COVID-19 brought the world to its knees, and the performing arts—including live theatre—were hit hard. From London’s West End to Broadway, New York, to right here in Omaha, stages around the world have gone dark.

At OCP, we have worked tirelessly to invent new ways to keep performing art alive during this crisis. From streaming productions online to moving shows outdoors, we have adapted and innovated to keep art in our community.

While we’ve been imagining new ways to stay connected, we’ve also been reimagining what a safe in-theatre experience could look like in the era of COVID. We believe we’ve created a plan that places the health of our community first while creating a safe environment for live theatre to thrive. It begins with our reimagined 2020/21 season lineup.

OCP’s New 2020/21 Season Lineup

Billy McGuigan‘s Pop Rock Orchestra*

Aug. 5 – 23

Storz Parking Lot at OCP

Don’t Stop Me Now! A Celebration of Rock Musicals

Aug. 28 – Sept. 20

Storz Parking Lot at OCP


Sept. 25 – Oct. 18

Howard Drew Theatre

Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience*

Oct. 2 – Nov. 1

Hawks Mainstage Theatre

I Am My Own Wife

Oct. 30 – Nov. 15

Howard Drew Theatre

A Christmas Carol*

Nov. 13 – Dec. 23

Hawks Mainstage Theatre

Title To Be Announced

Nov. 27 – Dec. 23

Howard Drew Theatre

The Last 5 Years

Jan. 15 – Feb. 7

Hawks Mainstage Theatre

The Candy Project Presents: Guttenberg! The Musical!*

Feb. 12 –March 14

Howard Drew Theatre

Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express

Feb. 26 – March 21

Hawks Mainstage Theatre

In The Heights

April 16 – May 9

Hawks Mainstage Theatre

Clybourne Park

May 7 – 30

Howard Drew Theatre

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka

May 28 – June 27

Hawks Mainstage Theatre

*Special engagement; Not a regular season production

We reimagined our season lineup.

  • We added concert-style drive-in shows to take advantage of our outdoor space as long as possible.
  • We removed shows with large cast sizes from our fall and winter time slots. In their place, we have added four wonderful productions with two performers or fewer. The new shows are compelling, entertaining and—most importantly—safe. The small cast sizes will allow our actors to safely rehearse and perform, create plenty of room for our backstage crew to social distance and help protect our patrons by reducing the overall number of people present in the theatre.
  • Fan favorite Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience will move to the larger Hawks Mainstage theatre and open in October. The larger stage will allow the band to socially distance and the larger theatre will safely accommodate the show’s many fans.
  • The holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol will live on for 2020 in a unique and imaginative small cast format.
  • Finally, we shuffled four titles from our original lineup to the end of the season. While these shows do feature more cast members, we are hopeful that these productions will be safe to carry out by next Spring. These four shows were selected based on existing ticket sales (via subscriptions), director availability, and royalties logistics.

We reimagined our performance spaces.

  • Patrons attending a show in either theatre will be socially distanced from other guests with all groups at least 6 feet apart.
  • In the Howard Drew theatre, a plexiglass barrier will be installed around the perimeter of the stage to provide separation between guests and performers.
  • Productions will not incorporate any physical audience participation.

We reimagined our safety precautions.

  • All audience, staff and volunteers will be required to wear masks. Masks will be available free of charge and must be worn properly in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Audience members will be required to self-screen for a fever and symptoms of illness prior to arriving at OCP. Those with fever or other symptoms may exchange their ticket at no cost.
  • New arrival and dismissal procedures will help encourage social distancing, including staggered vehicle loading/unloading, assigned will call pick up times and row-by-row dismissal after a show.
  • Lobbies, reception areas and lines will be arranged and marked to encourage social distancing.
  • Plexiglass barriers will be installed in the box office windows with cash-free payments encouraged, touchless credit card transactions offered and touch-free ticket pickup available.
  • Common areas and performance halls will be cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis with both cleanser and electrostatic technology.
  • All restrooms will be outfitted with touchless fixtures and will be sanitized daily and throughout performances.
  • We will no longer hold post-show meet and greets with the actors in the lobby.
  • Concessions and drinks will not be available and public water fountains will be closed.
  • For a full list of safety precautions, please visit the Omaha Community Playhouse website at

OCP will continue to evaluate our processes and procedures to ensure we are constantly creating the safest environment possible for our patrons, artists, volunteers and staff. For the most up-to-date information, please visit our website.

The Omaha Community Playhouse has served our community for nearly 100 years. We are confident that with a little (re)imagination, the art will always live on. We hope you enjoy our reimagined 2020/21 season, and we can’t wait to have you back at OCP!

Information for Subscribers:

  • Subscribers may select any regular season production from the new lineup above to replace any canceled productions from their original subscription package.
  • To select a new show for your package, call the OCP Box Office during the Subscriber Presale to reserve tickets to the new show of your choice.
  • New Subscriber Presale dates for all shows will be announced on a rolling basis throughout the season via email and the OCP website.
  • For additional information, please contact the OCP Box Office by phone at (402) 553-0800. For Box Office hours please visit the OCP website at