Following its last performance in Fort Worth on June 26, the second national tour of the smash Mel Brooks-Thomas Meehan musical will leave for a July run in Japan and then shut down. A planned reconstituted road company schedule that was to begin in fall has been postponed to the 2006-07 season owing to the busy schedules of Stroman and Brooks, who are working on the film version of the Tony Award-winner.
According to a statement, "As The Producers…is such a significant property, Mel Brooks and Susan Stroman want to personally supervise the creation of the next incarnation of the touring production. In doing so, the caliber of the show will be maintained while being able to meet the physical demands of the upcoming route. The scheduled tour has been delayed one year to accommodate the schedules of Mr. Brooks and Ms. Stroman, both of whom are committed to completing and promoting the film version of the musical…"
Some markets have announced the show for fall 2005 or spring 2006. Presenters are contacting their subscribers of the change. Inquiries should be made at point of purchase.
The second national tour was dubbed the "Leo" company. It began Boston in 2003. The "Max" company (the first national) opened in Pittsburgh in September 2002 and closed there in January 2005.
"Both companies will have played a (combined) total of 221 touring weeks and together will have grossed more than $222 million," according to the producers of The Producers. The show about Leo and Max — desperate and crooked Broadway producers who aim to create a flop — "has now topped a total worldwide box office take of more than $500 million, with more than 10 million tickets sold."
The film version of the musical (itself based on the non-musical film by Mel Brooks) is aiming for a Christmas release.
New productions of The Producers are scheduled for Sydney (opening May 26) as well as Japanese and Korean language productions scheduled for August 2005 and January 2006, respectively. The new productions will join the current runs in New York and London.
The Broadway run continues at the St. James Theatre. The 2001 production won the most Tony Awards in Broadway history.
The New York production currently stars Richard Kind (Max Bialystock), Roger Bart (Leo Bloom), Jonathan Freeman (Roger DeBris), John Treacy Eagan (Franz Liebkind), Brooks Ashmanskas (Carmen Ghia) and Angie Schworer (Ulla).