For a couple of weeks in early summer, it was a day-by-day guessing game when throat ailments would keep Nathan Lane out of Broadway's The Producers. Then came the news that co-star Matthew Broderick would need to take several weeks off to film "The Music Man" for ABC-TV. The latter project has been put off `till 2002, but Broderick will be taking a week's vacation in late summer, Sept. 4-9. During that time, two understudies — Jamie LaVerdiere and Jeffry [sic] Denman — will take turns covering the role of Leo Bloom. According to the Barlow-Hartman press office, Broderick will return to the show Sept. 11.
With a score by Mel Brooks and a book by Brooks and Thomas Meehan, The Producers has proved the biggest sensation to reach Broadway since The Lion King. The tuner collected a record 15 Tony nominations on May 7 and won a record 12 Awards June 3. Lane and Broderick star as shyster producers, Bialystock and Bloom, alongside Roger Bart, Gary Beach, Cady Huffman and Brad Oscar.
The Producers boasts designer Robin Wagner on sets, William Ivey Long on costumes, Peter Kaczorowski on lighting and Steve Kennedy on sound. Glen Kelly serves as musical arranger and supervisor; Patrick Brady is musical director and vocal arranger. Doug Besterman provided the orchestrations.
The musical is produced by Rocco Landesman, SFX Theatrical Group, the Frankel, Viertel, Baruch, Routh Group, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Rick Steiner, Robert F X Sillerman and Mel Brooks, in association with James D. Stern/Douglas Meyer and by special arrangement with Studio Canal.
For tickets and information on The Producers at the St. James Theatre, 246 West 44th Sreet, call (212) 239-6200.