Beach Takes His DeBris to L.A. April 24, But Returns to Bway Producers in Fall

News   Beach Takes His DeBris to L.A. April 24, But Returns to Bway Producers in Fall Gary Beach packs his 2001 Tony Award, his wigs — and that silvery dress the resembles the Chrysler Building — into a trunk and heads west after the April 24 performance of Broadway's The Producers.

Gary Beach
Gary Beach

Beach, who originated the role of cross-dressing, over-the top director Roger DeBris in the Mel Brooks musical, will recreate his work for Los Angeles audiences at the Pantages Theatre beginning May 2, opposite Jason Alexander (as Max) and Martin Short (as Leo). Beach won the Tony for playing the dim but passionate director who stages Springtime for Hitler, the show within the show. Beach is expected to stay with the L.A. company to September, and return to the Broadway show Sept. 30.

Beach's NYC exit starts a spring of many changes for the Broadway company. Charting the casting changes/announcements in the three Producers companies requires a wall-sized map. By November, it gets more complicated when a fourth North American troupe will appear, in Toronto. Casting for that is ongoing.

The current Franz Liebkind, John Treacy Egan, trades the lederhosen for a dress when he takes over the role of Roger DeBris April 25.

Peter Samuel (Parade, Les Miserables) will join the company to temporarily take over the part of Franz Liebkind April 25-Sept. 28.

Lewis J. Stadlen and Don Stephenson, who originated Max and Leo on the first national tour (which is the L.A.-bound tour that Alexander and Short have jumped into), will join the Broadway company. The current Broadway Max, Brad Oscar, will leave the New York company April 27 to tour with the second national company, which launches June 17 in Boston. Stadlen joins the Broadway company April 29.

Oscar famously took over the role of Max Bialystock on Broadway after Nathan Lane left the hit — but only after first replacement Henry Goodman was booted.

Oscar's Leo Bloom on tour will be Andy Taylor (Broadway's Moon Over Buffalo).

Oscar has been lauded for his work on Broadway first in the role of Franz Liebkind (for which he was Tony nommed), then as Max.

Roger Bart's last performance as Broadway's Leo Bloom is May 18. He goes off to film the remake of "The Stepford Wives" with Nicole Kidman. Don Stephenson comes to Broadway to play Leo starting May 20.

Tony-winner Cady Huffman (the one original principal cast member in her original role) remains on Broadway until the fall.

Brad Musgrove (who followed Bart and Sam Harris in the role of Carmen Ghia) also remains on Broadway.

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The second national tour launching June 17 at the Colonial Theatre in Boston also features Rich Affannato as Carmen Ghia, Ida Leigh Curtis as Ulla, Bill Nolte as Franz Liebkind and from the first national tour, Lee Roy Reams as Roger DeBris.

Brad Oscar is said to be with the tour only through Nov. 30.

The Producers swept the 2001 Tony Awards, receiving the most awards in Broadway history, including Best Musical , Best Book of a Musical (Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan), Best Original Score (Mel Brooks), Best Scenic Design (Robin Wagner), Best Costume Design (William Ivey Long), Best Lighting Design (Peter Kaczorowski), Best Orchestrations (Doug Besterman), Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical (Susan Stroman).

The Broadway staging remains at the St. James Theatre.