Former Palisades Honorary Mayor Steve Guttenberg has put the story of his life into a play. Tales from the Guttenberg Bible has received rave reviews, during a month run at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The play takes its tales from his 2012 memoir called The Guttenberg Bible.
Guttenberg, a Palisades resident, told CTN by email “We were a smash at the George Street in New Jersey. And in August we will be at the prestigious Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, New York.
“Come see us! We promise a funny, meaningful night of theater.”
Guttenberg said that the play is “a comedy about family” and Hollywood. He plays himself in the play. Three actors, Arnie Burton, Carine Montebertrand and Dan Dominques, play the roughly the 90 characters including family that Guttenberg met in his rise in Hollywood.
A reviewer for New Jersey Stage wrote an April 29 story (“Tales from the Guttenberg Bible”), “It’s hard not to smile throughout this play about a good guy who succeeded in a largely not-so-good industry.
“I thought Tales from the Guttenberg Bible was wonderful. As a guy who grew up watching his films, learning the story of how he became a star was fascinating. . . . The play moves quickly, holds your attention, and has a terrific true story behind it.”
In 1976, when Guttenberg was 17, he flew to Hollywood from Long Island to try acting. His parents gave him two weeks.
After landing, he found his way into Paramount Studios and took over an office in the Lucille Makeup Building. He strung a phone line from a nearby stage and started making calls to casting directors, agents and producers.
Whenever anyone pressed him for credentials, Guttenberg turned the tables by asking for their name so he could report them to his father whom he said ran the studio.
Guttenberg soon landed a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial, which led to the television movie Something for Joey, and films The Chicken Chronicles and Rollercoaster.
After a year in Hollywood, he decided it wasn’t for him, went home and enrolled in State University of New York at Albany. He was only three months into the semester when “Hollywood” called and offered him a co-starring role with Gregory Peck in The Boys from Brazil.
Since then, he’s starred in Diner, Police Academy, Cocoon, Three Men and a Baby, Short Circuit and The Bedroom Window.
And from 2002 to 2006, he served as Palisades Honorary Mayor and often could be found chatting with Chamber of Commerce Executive Arnie Wishnick in the Chamber office on Antioch.
In Tales from the Guttenberg Bible, the actor is on stage for the entire show. The other three actors use quick costume changes, different voices and mannerisms to play everyone from Steve’s parents to his agents to well-known celebrities, such as Merv Griffin, Jerry Seinfeld, Laurence Olivier, the Village People, Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner, Barry Levinson, Ron Howard, Jessica Tandy, Leonard Nimoy, Tom Selleck and Ted Danson.
If his fans cannot make it to Sag Harbor to see the show starring one of the Palisades’ honorary mayors, don’t worry. Guttenberg told CTN that “bringing the play to L.A. is on our boards.”