Don Stephenson Joins Bway's The Producers May 20

News   Don Stephenson Joins Bway's The Producers May 20 The double-act of Don Stephenson and Lewis J. Stadlen, who respectively played Leo and Max in the first national tour of The Producers since fall 2002, will be reunited in the Broadway staging starting May 20.
Don Stephenson
Don Stephenson

Stephenson joins the Broadway company at the St. James Theatre, replacing Roger Bart, who is off to film a movie, "The Stepford Wives."

Stephenson's Broadway credits include By Jeeves and Titanic (playing Charles Clarke and later Harold Bride). He also played Victor in the Broadway run of the recent Brit import of Private Lives.

Lewis Stadlen, the respected Broadway character actor who knows a thing or two about comedy, having playing Neil Simon, Guys and Dolls and Groucho Marx in the past, joined Broadway's The Producers April 29. Stadlen appeared in Simon's 45 Seconds From Broadway and Laughter on the 23rd Floor, toured as Nathan Detroit in Jerry Zaks' Guys and Dolls and was the most famous Marx brother in the cult-fave musical, Minnie's Boys.

For the current Los Angeles sitdown of the national tour, Stadlen and Stephenson exited and Jason Alexander and Martin Short entered.

Stadlen replaced Brad Oscar, who leap-frogs into the lead of the second national tour starting June 17 in Boston. By fall, there will be four North American companies of The Producers, including a Toronto troupe.

The Broadway cast now includes John Treacy Eagan as Roger DeBris, Brad Musgrove as Carmen Ghia, Peter Samuel as Franz Liebkind and Tony Award-winner Cady Huffman as Ulla.

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).

Lewis J. Stadlen (L) and Don Stephenson in the first national tour of <i>The Producers</i>.
Lewis J. Stadlen (L) and Don Stephenson in the first national tour of The Producers. (Photo by Paul Kolnik)