The second national tour of the Mel Brooks-Thomas Meehan sensation launches June 17 at the Colonial Theatre in Boston. Oscar, who took over for Nathan Lane on Broadway as desperate impresario Max Bialystock (after Henry Goodman didn't work on after a month in the role), will play Max on tour only through Nov. 30. His partner is crime, as nebbish accountant Leo Bloom, who blossoms as a producer, is Andy Taylor.
Oscar left the Broadway company April 27 to start rehearsing with the new touring troupe. The second national plays Boston to Sept. 14. Meanwhile, the first national company, which launched in fall 2002, has settled into an eight-month run at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, to Jan. 4, 2004.
Audiences and critics alike have embraced Oscar's work, saying his bigger-than-life performance and broad style were perfect for the role of the venal, hungry producer, Max Bialystock, the former King of Broadway looking for renewed fame and fortune.
The new tour includes 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.
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).
After Boston, the company goes to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton, WI, Sept. 16-28.