By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
19 Dec 2006
Bialystock is something of a departure for former boxer-turned-actor Danza. In the past five years, portly and/or voracious character men have played Max, the greedy producer of the Mel Brooks smash musical.
Danza does have a musical background — he's appeared in cabarets and released an album. Danza will stay with the production through March 11, 2007. Co-star Bart's engagement ends Feb. 11, 2007.
With a score by Brooks and a libretto by Brooks and Thomas Meehan, The Producers (based on the film of the same name) opened April 19, 2001, to rave reviews and is the recipient of the most Tony Awards in theatre history (with 12 wins).
The show at the St. James Theatre currently stars Brad Musgrove (Carmen Ghia), Bill Nolte (Franz Liebkind), Lee Roy Reams (Roger DeBris) and Angie Schworer (Ulla).
After his Broadway debut in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge, Tony Danza received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Rocky in the revival of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh opposite Kevin Spacey. In fall 2006 Danza starred in the romantic comedy I Remember You on stage in Los Angeles.
Danza has toured his live song-and-dance show across the country and released his debut album, "The House I Live In," in 2003, singing classic standards he grew up with.
Bart was Tony-nominated for playing Carmen Ghia in the original cast of The Producers, and eventually graduated to play Leo Bloom. He won a Tony Award for playing Snoopy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.