Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick May Return to The Producers

News   Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick May Return to The Producers It looks likely that Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick — the original stars of the Tony-winning The Producers — will return to the Broadway production this season.
Matthew Broderick (L) and Nathan Lane at the opening night for Gypsy.
Matthew Broderick (L) and Nathan Lane at the opening night for Gypsy. (Photo by Aubrey Reuben)

A spokesman for the show confirmed news that appeared in New York City's dailies Aug. 6: That the musical's original Bialystock (Lane) and Bloom (Broderick) will probably return to the show at the St. James Theatre for three months at the end of the year.

"Discussions have been happening but no deals have been signed," a spokesman for the show said. An announcement about the return of the duo is expected shortly, if the details can be worked out.

A New Year's Eve start date has been speculated, with a three-month contract. Since the stories appeared, people have been inquiring at the box office and on phone lines for early 2004 tickets, but tickets for the famed show are only on sale through Dec. 28 at the moment. The on-sale date for tickets after Dec. 28 will be announced soon.

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The musical, based on Mel Brooks' famed film of the same name, currently stars Lewis Stadlen as Bialystock and Don Stephenson as Bloom. Although it has continued to sell well — the July 28-Aug. 3 box-office receipts totaled $925,759 or 84.6 percent capacity — The Producers is not considered the blockbuster it once was with the original stars. During Lane and Broderick's stay, the show sold out most every week. (To be fair, with the two seasons that followed The Producers, big hits Mamma Mia! and Hairspray have stolen some interest away from the show.)

Recasting The Producers has proven difficult. British actor Henry Goodman was unceremoniously dumped from the musical just prior to his press opening. He was replaced by Lane's understudy, Brad Oscar. Broderick left his role to TV actor Steven ("Wings") Weber, who fared better than Goodman. The Los Angeles production currently stars Martin Short as Bloom and Jason Alexander as Bialystock.

In addition to his Tony-winning roles in The Producers and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Nathan Lane has starred on The Great White Way in Present Laughter, Merlin, The Wind in the Willows, Some Americans Abroad, On Borrowed Time, Guys and Dolls, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Love! Valour! Compassion! and The Man Who Came to Dinner. The actor has also been featured in such films as "Addams Family Values," "Mousehunt," "Love's Labour's Lost" and "The Birdcage," scoring a Golden Globe nomination for his work in the latter. He was also recently seen in the film adaptation of "Nicholas Nickleby."

Matthew Broderick received Tony Awards for his performances in Brighton Beach Memoirs and the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He was also Tony-nominated for his work in The Producers, and his other theatre credits include Biloxi Blues, Night Must Fall, Taller Than a Dwarf, On Valentine's Day, Torch Song Trilogy and The Widow Claire. His many film credits include "Max Dugan Returns," "War Games," "1918," "On Valentine's Day," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Project X," "Ladyhawke," "Biloxi Blues," "Glory," "Family Business," "The Freshman," "The Night We Never Met," "The Cable Guy," "Addicted to Love," "Godzilla," "Inspector Gadget," "Election" and "You Can Count On Me." Broderick is married to actress Sarah Jessica Parker.

The Producers plays the St. James Theatre, 246 West 44th Street. Call (212) 239-6200 for tickets.

Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick
Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick