The unlikely casting — the star of TV's "Baywatch" and "Knight Rider" will don William Ivey Long's delicious drag costumes, including a spangled gown that makes Roger look like the Chrysler Building — was announced Nov. 2 by composer-lyricist and co-librettist Mel Brooks and Paris Las Vegas, the resort where the musical will begin performances Jan. 31, 2007. Brad Oscar will play Max Bialystock in Vegas, as he did to acclaim on Broadway, on tour and in London's West End.
Additional casting for the open-ended Las Vegas run will be announced shortly.
The musical opened in 2001 to raves, and was the recipient of the most Tony Awards in Broadway History (12, including Best Musical). Based on Mel Brooks' Academy Award-winning 1968 film of the same name, the show tells the story of down-on-his-luck theatrical producer Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, a mousy accountant. Together, with the help of their flamboyant director, Roger DeBris (Hasselhoff), they hatch the ultimate scam: raise more money than you need for a sure-fire Broadway flop and pocket the difference. Their theatrical fiasco is the musical Springtime for Hitler.
Hasselhoff's theatrical career began with his Broadway debut in Jekyll and Hyde. He also appeared as Billy Flynn in the West End company of Chicago.
"I'm overjoyed that David Hasselhoff is going to play Roger DeBris in the Las Vegas production of The Producers," Mel Brooks said in a statement. "He has an incredible comedic timing, terrific musical theatre experience and a stage presence that I think will be a perfect marriage with the role. And by the way, he has great legs for that dress." The Vegas run will have direction and choreography by Susan Stroman, who helped create the original production and also directed the film version.
The Producers was originally produced on the New York stage by Rocco Landesman, Live Nation, The Frankel-Baruch-Viertel-Routh Group, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Rick Steiner, Robert F.X. Sillerman and Mel Brooks in association with James D. Stern and Douglas Meyer and by special arrangement with StudioCanal.
Paris Las Vegas is a Harrah's Entertainment resort, boasting a 50-story replica of the Eiffel Tower.
Tickets are now on sale for February, March and April 2007. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Paris Las Vegas box office at (877) 374-7469 or online at parislasvegas.com. Group tickets can be purchased for groups of 15 or more by calling (800) 828-3830.
The Producers will play seven shows a week: 8 PM Monday and Tuesday, 8 PM Thursday-Sunday, with a matinees 2 PM Saturday. No performances Wednesday. Tickets range $75.50 to $143.50.