Sen. Chuck Schumer makes his Broadway debut


(New York Jewish Week) — New York Sen. Chuck Schumer made his Broadway debut on Tuesday night in the final scene of “Gutenberg! The Musical!” in the role of “producer.”

In a one-minute long video posted to his Instagram account, Schumer pops up from the crowd to uproarious applause. “I need them two,” he says, while bounding up to the stage. 

“It’s Broadway producer Sen. Chuck Schumer,” says Josh Gad, who stars alongside Andrew Rannells as the show’s main characters, Bud Davenport and Doug Simon. 

“This show is fantastic,” Schumer says after he joins Rannells and Gad on stage. “I don’t need to hear another note.”

“I’m a Broadway producer and I hold in my hands a Broadway contract. You’ve got your show,” he says, waving a folder above his head before handing it to Gad’s character and hugging the two actors. He then dances off stage. 

The musical comedy, which premiered in London in 2006, follows friends and aspiring playwrights Bud and Doug as they write and attempt to sell their own Broadway musical about Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. Bud and Doug act out the show themselves to win over producers — with no funding, minimal props and no other cast members, Bud and Doug have to play every role themselves. They eventually win over a producer to fund their Broadway dreams.

In the 2023 Broadway version of “Gutenberg,” playing at the James Earl Jones Theatre at 138 West 48th St., the role of the producer who finally gives the pair a contract is often a surprise celeb, usually an actor or singer. Earlier this week, Jewish Broadway stars Ethan Slater and Idina Menzel guest-starred. Billy Crystal, Steve Martin and Victor Garber also made cameos this month.

“What fun to join Doug, Bud, and everyone at Gutenberg tonight! Congrats to Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells on an incredible show!” Schumer captioned his social media posts. His office provided the same statement via email in a comment to the New York Jewish Week. 

Over the past weeks, Schumer has worked to avoid a government shutdown in Congress and maintained support for aid to Israel during the Israel-Hamas war. In mid-October, Schumer led a bi-partisan congressional delegation to Israel, where his group had to hide in a bomb shelter under the threat of rocket attacks. He also spoke at the March for Israel on the National Mall on Nov. 14, which drew a crowd of 290,000 Israel supporters. 

In a statement released yesterday, he applauded the Israel-Hamas deal to release 50 of the hostages held by Hamas since Oct. 7. “I am pleased and relieved that we are close to seeing the first 50 hostages be released and reunited with their loved ones,” he said. “The release of 50 out of 240 hostages would mark real progress, but we cannot rest until all the hostages are free.”

Schumer also added that the Senate will “continue working to pass additional humanitarian assistance for innocent Palestinians, and make sure that Israel has the aid it needs to defend itself to ensure Hamas can never again pose such a threat to Israel.”