Filmdom's Mel Brooks returns to Broadway with The Producers, his first score to hit the Great White Way. 2000 Tony Award winner Susan Stroman directed and choreographed the new musical, which opened April 19 at the St. James Theatre.
The Producers, based on Brooks' 1968 Oscar-winning movie, tells of a larger-than-life but the down-on-his-luck Broadway producer Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) who enlists a meek tax accountant, Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick), to help him get back on top. The scheme is not to mount a hit play but to raise a lot of money, produce a great stinking flop, and then disappear before paying back the investors. What better choice for a disaster than "Springtime For Hitler," a dramatic love-letter to Der Furher penned by a German lunatic (Brad Oscar) living in a tenement? After securing the property, Max and Leo add a flamboyant director (Gary Beach) to all-but-ensure that "Springtime For Hitler" will be excruciatingly bad. Only it turns out, it's so bad, it's funny - and a hit. Brooks wrote the score with Tony winner Stroman directing and choreographing.