Mel Brooks told the Daily News that Susan Stroman will probably take up direction of the musical version of his classic comic film, The Producers. The show, which Brooks hopes to bring to Broadway in late 2000 or early 2001, was originally to be helmed by Mike Ockrent, Stroman's husband, who died in December. "She was always going to do the choreography; it's only natural she be The Producers' director," Brooks said. The film director and actor is writing the songs for the musical and collaborating on the book with Tom Meehan. The show would likely open in Chicago, said Brooks. Nathan Lane is being sought to star.
The film told the story of a couple of hapless Broadway producers who scheme to stage the worst idea for a show in history and keep the investors' money when the show flops. Their plans are spoiled, however, when the show unexpectedly becomes a hit and they are faced with the prospect of paying off countless angels whom, together, have purchased much more than 100% of the production. The original film starred Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder.
Stroman is widely thought to be taking over another Ockrent project, the musical version of The Night They Raided Minsky's.