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Previewed 22 October 2004, Opened 9 November 2004, Closed 6 January 2007 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane Theatre in London
The Producers, the new Mel Brooks musical, is the story of down-on-his-luck theatrical producer Max Bialystock and his mousy accountant, Leo Bloom. Together, they hatch the ultimate theatrical scam: to raise more money than they need to produce a sure-fire Broadway disaster... and then to pocket the left-over cash when the show flops. Their guaranteed-to-fail fiasco? Springtime for Hitler: The Musical.
WINNER! BEST MUSICAL! x 3! - Evening Standard Theatre Awards - Critics' Circle Theatre Awards - Laurence Olivier Awards
Three years ago, he was finally persuaded to adapt The Producers, the Academy Award-winning film, for the Broadway musical stage. The result was beyond the dreams of Mel Brooks and multi award-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman. The Producers became the biggest ever hit in Broadway history, sweeping up a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards. The Producers has music and lyrics by Mel Brooks and book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan. Directed and Choreographed by Susan Stroman with scenic designs by Robin Wagner, costumes by William Ivey Long and lighting by Peter Kaczorowski.
There are few people who can reduce an audience to tears of helpless laughter more readily than Mel Brooks. Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, The History of the World Part 1, To Be or Not to Be, High Anxiety and Spaceballs: these and many other movies bear the unmistakable stamp of Brooks's unique, crazy and quirky sense of humour.
"Sheer, utter, unadultered joy" The Daily Express
"It always looked likely to be the first big musical hit in a season bursting with big musicals. And so it proves. Mel Brooks's The Producers has at last goosestepped across the Atlantic, complete with jumbo frankfurter and pretzel head-dresses, a tap dance for Zimmer frames and a chorus line of birds lifting a rigid wing apiece in the Nazi salute. It's already proving hard to get tickets... Each aspect of the production is stamped through with wit. Brooks's dialogue and lyrics fizz away: he manages more flourish in a throwaway rhyme than most lyricists pack into a punchline. And, whipped along by Susan Stroman's dashing choreography and direction, the story, studded with references to other musicals, looks as if it were all along intended for the stage. It's in love with an over-the-top theatricality; it celebrates as much as it satirises." The Observer
"After three delirious hours one is left stunned by a combination of unstoppable laughter and sheer happiness" The Daily Telegraph
"Bialystock persuades elderly ladies to invest in his productions by sexually servicing them. The director of Springtime and his associates are grotesque stereotype gays. Hitler sings a ditty about 'hitching up his pants' and conquering France (to rhyme with 'pants'). I don't altogether object to such things in principle. But there is a vital distinction to be drawn between good bad taste and bad bad taste, and much of the bad taste here is plain awful. Try the posters that adorn Bialystock's office, for instance. One is for an old show called The Kidney Stone, the one underneath for a show called This Too Shall Pass... Susan Stroman directs; she is also responsible for the high-voltage choreography." The Sunday Telegraph
"A masterclass in spiffing knockabout musical comedy... there has never been anything quite like The Producers" The London Evening Standard
"The brilliance of the piece stems partly from Brooks's shamelessness. His film famously put the camp into Mein Kampf, but this show is even more outrageous. He recycles some of the oldest jokes in the business... [and] seizes every opportunity for humour... Why? I think that Brooks's answer would be: 'Why not, if it's funny?' 'A good comedy blows dust off your soul,' says Brooks. I sailed out of this glorious, hilarious, blissfully funny show, my soul dust-free." The Mail on Sunday
"A truimph... it had me in stitches - do yourself a favour and go" The Times
"This musical version of the film creates all kinds of meta-textual fun, the play within a play creating an audience within an audience. Sitting in the Theatre Royal, you become the shocked and dazzled Broadway first-nighters [of Springtime for Hitler]... The film might have gone down in comic history, but the sheer razzle-dazzle of this production realises its vision with spectacle to spare. Robin Wagner's set design is everything you want from a blockbusting musical, from the stylised New York backdrop to the tricks and treats that the set throws up... There are, however problems... It is too long and occasionally plodding, and, despite the effervescence of the cast, not every song is a show stopper." The Sunday Times
The Producers in London at the Drury Lane Theatre previewed from 22 October 2004, opened on 9 November 2004 and closed on 6 January 2007.