Political stage

US Sen. Chuck Schumer thrills audience with Broadway debut

New York senator makes appearance in ‘Gutenberg! The Musical!’ taking traditional cameo role of producer who finally agrees to fund show

Screen capture from video of New York Senator Chuck Schumer, right, making a  cameo appearance in the Broadway show 'Gutenberg! The Musical!' November 22, 2023. (X. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Screen capture from video of New York Senator Chuck Schumer, right, making a cameo appearance in the Broadway show 'Gutenberg! The Musical!' November 22, 2023. (X. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

New York Jewish Week via JTA — 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 which erupted when the terror group led thousands of terrorists to carry out a devastating cross-border attack from the Gaza Strip that killed over 1,200 people, mostly civilians. Terrorists also abducted at least 240 people, including children and infants, who were taken as captives into Gaza.

In mid-October, Schumer led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Israel, where his group had to hide in a bomb shelter due to rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. He also spoke at the March for Israel on the National Mall on November 14, which drew a crowd of 290,000 Israel supporters.

From left, US senators Bill Cassidy, Mark Kelly, Chuck Schumer, Jacky Rosen, and Mitt Romney at a press conference in Tel Aviv, October 15, 2023 (screenshot)

In a statement released Wednesday, he applauded the Israel-Hamas deal — now delayed — to release 50 of the hostages held by Hamas since October 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.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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