The Producers Will Have Its L.A. Premiere at Pantages in April 2003

News   The Producers Will Have Its L.A. Premiere at Pantages in April 2003 It's official: The Producers will bow at Los Angeles' Pantages Theatre in April 2003.

It's official: The Producers will bow at Los Angeles' Pantages Theatre in April 2003.

No specific date or cast has been announced for the limited engagement. The Los Angeles Times reported Jan. 15 that the producers of The Producers had been eyeing the Ahmanson Theatre but, under the assumption that the musical will be as big a hit in L.A. as it's been in New York and Chicago, they judged the 2,100-seat venue too small to reap the kinds of grosses a mega-hit can generate.

Thus, the Mel Brooks-Thomas Meehan smash began mulling a 30-week run at the 2,700-seat Pantages Theatre, even though The Lion King is still playing there. (The latter will close in December 2002.)

The musical is part of Broadway/L.A.’s 2002-2003 season and the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre 2002-2003 season. Single tickets for the L.A. run are not yet available, but groups of 20 or more tickets can now "place priority orders" at (323) 463-4367.

As previously reported, The Producers will make its West Coast debut at San Diego's Civic Theatre on New Year's Eve 2002. The two-week run at the Civic Theatre will last through Jan. 12, 2003. Tickets at the 2,975-seat Civic will run $34.50-$78. *

Though there's been no official word on long-range touring plans for the Broadway mega-hit The Producers, the tour's itinerary is now coming together city by city. A recent audition notice noted that rehearsals for the Producers' tour will start July 22, readying for a first performance in Pittsburgh, PA Sept. 12.

Producers co-author Thomas Meehan had told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's Chris Rawson that after Pittsburgh, The Producers would likely continue on to Cincinnati, OH, news now borne out by an announcement by Fifth Third Bank of Cincinnati that the show will come to the Aronoff Center, Oct. 22-Nov. 10. (The Aronoff box office has confirmed those dates.)

No casting for the tour has been revealed, but Lewis J. Stadlen and Jim Walton have been mentioned for the leads of Max and Leo.

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Toronto producers Ed and David Mirvish and Tony Award winning librettist-songwriter Mel Brooks announced Feb. 20 that The Producers would have its Canadian premiere at the Mirvishes' Canon Theatre in Toronto in spring 2003, making the staging the fourth North American production, and the third outside New York City.

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On March 19, Briton Henry Goodman (seen on Broadway in Art) and Steven Weber (known for TV's "Wings" and "Once and Again") took over the respective roles created by Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in The Producers, the record-breaking 2001 musical comedy that earned an unprecedented 12 Tony Awards, including a prize for Lane at the greedy impresario Max Bialystock. Weber plays the meek account, Leo Bloom, who transforms into a successful co producer when he and Max play fast and loose with the books of the show called Springtime for Hitler.

For ticket information about The Producers at the St. James Theatre, call (212) 239-5800.