They Can Do It! Stadlen & Stephenson Are New Max & Leo in Bway Producers; Brad Oscar Will Tour

News   They Can Do It! Stadlen & Stephenson Are New Max & Leo in Bway Producers; Brad Oscar Will Tour The news has circulated in the Broadway acting community for weeks, but the producers of The Producers have made it official: Lewis J. Stadlen and Don Stephenson of the first national tour will jump into the Broadway troupe, and Brad Oscar will tour with the second national.

Lewis J. Stadlen and Don Stephenson as The Producers.
Lewis J. Stadlen and Don Stephenson as The Producers.

Oscar, who took over the role of Max Bialystock on Broadway after Nathan Lane left the hit (and first replacement Henry Goodman was booted), will lead the second national troupe beginning June 17 in Boston (it plays there 13 weeks). His Leo will be Andy Taylor (Broadway's Moon Over Buffalo).

Meanwhile, at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, the first national tour sits down in May for seven months with Jason Alexander and Martin Short taking the roles created by Stadlen and Stephenson.

Charting the casting changes/announcements in the three Producers companies requires a wall-sized map. By November, it gets more complicated when a fourth North American troupe will appear, in Toronto. Casting is ongoing.

Oscar, lauded for his work on Broadway first in the role of Franz Liebkind (for which he was Tony-nommed), then as Max, will leave the Broadway company April 27. Stadlen joins the Broadway company April 29.

Roger Bart's last performance as Leo Bloom is May 18. He goes off to film the remake of "The Stepford Wives" with Nicole Kidman. Don Stephenson comes to Broadway to play Leo May 20. Tony Award-winner Gary Beach will leave the Broadway role of Roger DeBris April 24 to "Keep it Gay" in L.A. as DeBris opposite Alexander and Martin Short until Sept. 30, when he is scheduled to return to the Broadway cast.

The current Franz Liebkind, John Treacy Egan, trades the lederhosen for a dress when he takes over the role of Roger DeBris April 25.

Peter Samuel (Parade, Les Miserables) will join the company to temporarily take over the part of Franz Liebkind April 25-Sept. 28.

Tony-winner Cady Huffman (the one original principal cast member in her original role) remains on Broadway until the fall.

Brad Musgrove (who followed Bart and Sam Harris in the role of Carmen Ghia) also remains on Broadway.

The second national tour launching June 17 at the Colonial Theatre in Boston also features Rich Affannato as Carmen Ghia, Ida Leigh Curtis as Ulla, Bill Nolte as Franz Liebkind and from the first national tour, Lee Roy Reams as Roger DeBris.

Brad Oscar is said to be with the tour only through Nov. 30.

The Producers swept the 2001 Tony Awards, receiving the most awards in Broadway history, including Best Musical , Best Book of a Musical (Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan), Best Original Score (Mel Brooks), Best Scenic Design (Robin Wagner), Best Costume Design (William Ivey Long), Best Lighting Design (Peter Kaczorowski), Best Orchestrations (Doug Besterman), Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical (Susan Stroman).

The Broadway staging remains at the St. James Theatre.

Lewis J. Stadlen and Don Stephenson in a scene from the first national tour of <i>The Producers</i>.
Lewis J. Stadlen and Don Stephenson in a scene from the first national tour of The Producers.