BRAD OSCAR       MATTHEW BRODERICK

GARY BEACH      CADY HUFFMAN     JIM BORSTELMANN     ROGER BART
MADELEINE DOHERTY     KATHY FITZGERALD    JENNIFER SMITH


A musical phenomenon and a mega hit, this musical adaptation of Mel Brooks' cult movie THE PRODUCERS hit Broadway as a storm. Everyone wants to see it, all the critics rave about it, the performances are sold out months in advance, the media gives it all the attention they can, it swept all this year's Tonys and it seems it will run for years and years. Sometimes too much success can became a problem and too much exposure can be bad.

When I went to see it I had already played the cast recording hundreds of times and I had seen the "making of", so I knew what I was about to see. The problem was that I was expecting more.

Don't get me wrong, I had a really good time and laughed like a maniac, but there were no surprises for me. Everything, the musical numbers, the best jokes, all could be seen on that "making of" or heard on the CD.

There's an exception, the "Springtime for Hitler" number. Nothing was shown of that sequence, but to tell the truth it resembles too much what happened on the movie. Susan Stroman choreography for this number isn't surprising and the best thing about the entire number is Gary Beach's riotous Hitler.

There are no flaws on the book and the score is a sincere homage to the golden age of musical comedy. Of course you won't find this kind of funny and outrageous lyrics on the old musicals, but thanks to Brooks the political incorrect is back and how I missed it! Nothing is sacred and everything can be a motive for a joke.

Once again Stroman shows how talented she is. Her direction is flawless and only she can make a musical move like this.The scenes changing are simply terrific and her sense of rhythm is untouchable.

This time around her choreography isn't as good as I expected. There's no doubt she can make her cast dance, but here the dance numbers aren't as imaginative or exciting as her previous works.

The best number is the funny "Along Came Bialy" and "The King of Broadway" has its moments. "I Wanna Be a Producer" reminded me of the far superior "I Can't Be Bothered Now" from CRAZY FOR YOU and "That Face" it's just okay.

All the members (I think there should be more in it) of the company are in great shape.

The night I saw it, Nathan Lane was out and in his place I saw Brad Oscar, who was great, although he acted too much like Lane. Matthew Broderick was funnier than I expected and Cady Huffman was exactly what I expected, although I thought she would dance more.

But it was Gary Beach and Roger Bart that really conquered me; both of them are simply fabulous. Jim Borstelmann (standing in for Brad Oscar) also delivered a strong performance as Franz.

One last word for the delicious Madeleine Doherty, Kathy Fitzgerald and Jennifer Smith as the sex starving little old ladies
.My favorite scenes are the contagious "Keep It Gay", the funny "Haben Sie Gehoert das Deustche Band?" and the first act final.

All these numbers had minimal but truly effective musical staging. Although I was disappointed, in the whole I had a great time out. I love musical comedy!


music and lyrics by
MEL BROOKS

book by
MEL BROOKS and THOMAS MEEHAN

direction and choreography by
SUSAN STROMAN


Rated by Jorge: ++++