There is no doubt that the invention of the printing press was a significant event in mankind’s history. Previously manuscripts had been, as the very name implies, copied by hand and therefore very expensive. Knowledge, and the power that accompanied it, was in the hands of that small, elite percentage of the population that had the good fortune of being both wealthy and literate.
But all that began to change when Johann Gutenberg built his first press, that began to change. His invention allowed the masses previously unprecedented access to knowledge. His printing of the Bible gave people their first opportunity to read the book themselves, rather than accepting the clergy’s interpretation of it as rote, thereby breaking the stranglehold of the church’s power.
As momentous as this invention undoubtedly was, it’s hardly something that would cause anyone to break out in song and dance. Or is it?
On Saturday night I took what was my first but certainly not my last trip to Greene’s Chenango River Theatre to see Gutenberg! The Musical!, a show whose two protagonists, Bud Davenport (Matthew Hardy) and Doug Simon (Andy Rabensteine) are endeavoring to set what they consider the most important event in history, to music.