Shows P

THE PRODUCERS Book and music : Mel Brooks St James Theatre, Broadway - April 19, 2001. Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London - 9th November, 2004. Closed 6th January, 2007 THE STORY (in brief): features an impresario and his accountant. They raise a lot of money for a theatrical production that, at all costs, must fail, so that they can make off with the surplus cash to some distant country in South America. To be certain of a box-office disaster, they write a musical with cheerful numbers about Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Instead of the disaster for which they hoped, the show is a wild success. Outrageous, hilarious, a teeny bit offensive, off the wall, and the winner of a record 12 Tony Awards are just a few things that THE PRODUCERS is. But it is never boring and you will find yourself holding your sides with laughter as Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom sing and dance their way through the greatest show biz scam that there ever was. THE PRODUCERS opens on Shubert Alley on the opening night of a musical version of HAMLET called FUNNY BOY! produced by the indefatigable Max Bialystock. “It’s Opening Night” sing the usherettes and as the first nighters enter they sing, “He’s done it again….It’s the worst show in town!” We now see the tuxedo clad Max trying to figure out what went wrong in the self-serving song, “The King of Old Broadway.” Max vows to be on the top again. We now find ourselves in the once elegant and now shabby office of Max Bialystock. He has been reduced to living in his office and his sleep is interrupted by a knock on the door. Is it fate? No, it is a shleppy accountant named Leo Bloom who has come to do Max’s books. Max forces Leo into the bathroom while one of his investors, Hold Me-Touch Me, an elderly lady, enters but withholds her check until Max plays one dirty game with her. The game is begun but Leo comes out of the bathroom and the little old lady leaves—at least until Thursday. Max’s books don’t add up and Leo berated by Max pulls out his blue blanket and curls up on the floor into a fetal position. Max wonders, “They come here. They all come here. How do they find me?” Leo has discovered that Max had raised a hundred thousand dollars for FUNNY BOY! but only spent ninety-eight thousand leaving two thousand unaccounted for. Since the show was a major flop, Max convinces Leo to move a few decimal points around which will keep him from going to jail. After all, the I.R.S. isn’t interested in a show that wasn’t a success. Max takes the next step and tells Bloom they could find the worst play and director in town, raise two million (one million for each of them) and then with the worst actors in town produce a gigantic flop and go to Rio with the money. Max tries to convince the reluctant Bloom to follow his lead in “We Can Do It” Bloom returns to Whitehall and Marks, his accounting office where he is berated for being six minutes late. Working as an automaton on his adding machine, Bloom realizes, with the help of fantasy gorgeous chorus girls that “I Wanna Be A Producer” where he can lunch at Sardi’s, sport a top hat and cane, and sleep until half-past two—that is to say “I wanna be a producer….’cause it’s everything I’m not.” Leo leaves his job crying, “Stop the world, I wanna get on!” Leo returns to Max and some time later they are discovered reading scripts trying to find the worst play ever written. Max finally finds it: SPRINGTIME FOR HITLER,A GAY ROMP WITH EVA AND ADOLF AT BERCHTESGADEN guaranteed “to close on page 4”. In the West Village at 61 Jane Street, the author of the play, Franz Liebkind, dressed in lederhosen and a