Brooks and Meehan's Producers Still Developing

News   Brooks and Meehan's Producers Still Developing It will likely not be until September before any further word is heard about The Producers, a stage adaptation of Mel Brooks' classic film comedy. According to a BrooksFilms spokesperson (reached July 12), Brooks is out of the country until the end of August, so details on when, where and who will be in the show will probably wait until his return.

It will likely not be until September before any further word is heard about The Producers, a stage adaptation of Mel Brooks' classic film comedy. According to a BrooksFilms spokesperson (reached July 12), Brooks is out of the country until the end of August, so details on when, where and who will be in the show will probably wait until his return.

What is known is that Brooks is adapting his screenplay with co-librettist Thomas Meehan, who wrote the book for the mega-hit Annie. Brooks is also penning the words and music to a couple of new tunes for the show, though the song titles are not yet available for publication. As reported some weeks ago by PBOL, Susan Stroman will direct and choreograph.

There is no confirmation, however, for dates or a theatre for The Producers (sources have been pointing to the St. James, current home of Swing!). However, Brooks' spokesperson did say the earliest Broadway might see the musical would be January 2001.

Though no cast members are actually confirmed at this point, in a March 2 appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman," Brooks, a guest on the show, pulled a contract for the musical out of his pants and told Nathan Lane, who was Letterman’s guest host, to sign it. Brooks told the crowd he wanted Lane to star in the planned stage musical, presumably in the Max Bialystock role originated by Zero Mostel.

Well, Brooks got Stroman and Lane. "We're actually going to do a reading of [Mel's] musical," Stroman told Playbill (March 28). "He's written the musical and lyrics and the book. Every single page is funny." Lane is currently starring in the Roundabout's revival of The Man Who Came to Dinner. Evan Pappas was then slated to play the Gene Wilder role, Leo Bloom, in an upcoming workshop of the new musical, a spokesman for the reading told Playbill On-Line. Pappas was most recently seen in the Broadway musical, Parade. In The Producers, he will play a nervous accountant lured by Lane's barnstorming theatrical producer, into a scheme to make money by overselling interest in a musical sure to close. Brooks had previously said he wanted Martin Short for the role. Matthew Broderick has also been mentioned for the role.