About Us

Contact Us


The 21st Century

Hacktreks Travel

Hacktreks 2

First Chapters
Lifestyles 1
Lifestyles 2

The International Writers Magazine
: Musical Review

The Producers
Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London.
A review by Alex Segal (Based on the 26th March 2005 performance.)
Kenneth Avery-Clark, Stephen Carlile, Nicolas Colicos, Hadrian Delacey, James Dreyfus, Kate Graham, Amanda Minihan, Sherrie Pennington, Simon Adkins, Caroline Barnes, Suzanne Bullock, Leigh Constantine, Lisa Donmall, Cory English, Lee Evans, Christian Gibson, James Gray, Conleth Hill, Kelly Homewood, David Hulston, James Le Feuvre, Rachel McDowall, Brad Oscar, Gavin Staplehurst, Luzahnn Taylor, Emma Tunmore, Desi Valentine and Leigh Zimmerman.
Music and Book by Mel Brooks (with Thomas Meehan).
Direction and Choreography by Susan Stroman.

The musical built on the Oscar-winning film starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks’ The Producers, made its West End premiere on November 9th 2004 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London after winning 12 Tony Awards in its four years on Broadway. Some may say that this sure-fire hit is perhaps the best comedy musical to tread the boards of the West End in years and is sure to pull in the crowds night after night.

The Tony Award nominee Brad Oscar has again replaced Nathan Lane as the down on his luck Broadway producer Max Bialystock, a role he played in America for two years. Zany funny man Lee Evans, often referred to as a young Norman Wisdom, is worth every penny as the highly-strung accountant Leopold Bloom. The comic combination of Oscar and Evans gave the audience the most perfect pairing you could ever wish to see, the latter receiving applause in his opening entrance.
The action revolves around Max and Leo who attempt to utilize a plan to make millions by producing a theatrical flop that is so bad that it will close within a week leaving them to pocket the rest of the money and retire to Rio. They employ the deranged Franz Liebkind (Nicolas Colicos), who breeds a collection of Nazi-saluting pigeons, and his musical ‘Springtime for Hitler’ for their scheming plan and off they go attempting to find financial backers in the form of old age pensioners, the worst possible director and the most inept actors to truly make sure the musical is the biggest flop Broadway has ever witnessed.
Former Chicago star Leigh Zimmerman enters the fray as the exquisite Ulla, a femme fatale looking for work as an actress, who is cast by Bialystock and Bloom faster than you can say ‘blonde hair, long legs and Swedish’. Olivier Award winning and Tony Award nominee Conleth Hill, who takes on the role of Roger DeBris, is almost a cartoon caricature in his portrayal as the camp, melodramatic, dress-wearing director. Equally as extravagant and histrionic is his assistant Carmen Ghia, played by Gimme Gimme Gimme’s James Dreyfus. These two most definitely gave us laughs till we were past laughter and ready to reach for the handkerchiefs. For Max and Leo, however, ‘Springtime for Hitler’ doesn’t work as well as they had originally planned which leads the audience into a highly tensed, show-stopping finale.

The quality of the production shone from every inch of the stage. From the costumes to the set design and the audacity of Mel Brooks’ plot, which uses wit as a way of mocking one of the most abhorrent events in the history of the last century, was nothing short of breath taking. Combined with the catchy lyrics of ‘The King of Broadway’, ‘I Wanna Be A Producer’, ‘Betrayed’ and ‘Keep It Gay’, the songs will keep you humming all the way home.
This is a must see for theatre fans and is a welcome addition to the selection of shows that London has to offer.

Unfortunately, Lee Evans and Brad Oscar will be vacating their Drury Lane dressing rooms come April 23rd. No news as yet to their replacements, however, rumours point to My Family and Love Actually star Kris Marshall for the role of Bloom. If you can’t make it down to Drury Lane, you needn’t worry, as Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick are currently reforming their partnership that ignited the original Broadway production by filming The Producers: The Movie Musical set for a 2005/2006 release.
© Alex Segal April 1st 2005

More Reviews



© Hackwriters 1999-2005 all rights reserved