Stadlen and Stephenson Are The Producers at the Muny Beginning June 16

By Andrew Gans
June 16, 2008

Mel Brooks' Tony-winning musical The Producers kicks off the 2008 summer season at the St. Louis Muny, the nation's oldest and largest outdoor theatre, June 16.

The hit musical based on the Brooks film of the same name features Lewis J. Stadlen as Max Bialystock, Don Stephenson as Leo Bloom, Anthony Cummings as Franz Liebkind, Larry Raben as Carmen Ghia, Lee Roy Reams as Roger DeBris and Angie Schworer as Ulla. Performances continue through June 22.

The ensemble comprises James Anthony, Michael Baxter, Christina Hammersmith, Leah Hoffman, Nicole Hren, Andy Jones, Aaron Kaburick, Ana Llewellyn, Nathan Madden, Ruth Pferdehirt, Alex Puette, Peggy Quinn, Jennifer Smith, Kendal Sparks, Karilyn Ashley Surratt, Jeanne Trevor, Keith Tyrone, Gia Grazia Valenti and Amos Wolff.

Bill Burns directs The Producers, which features assistant direction by Matthew Vargo, musical direction by James Moore, set design by Michael Anania and lighting design by David Lander. Paul Blake produces for the Muny.

The Producers features a book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan and music and lyrics by Brooks. The musical, according to press notes, "chronicles the hilarious adventures of washed-up Broadway producer Max Bialystock and his mild-mannered accountant Leo Bloom, as they scheme to get rich quick by producing the most notorious flop in the history of showbiz. What they don't know is that after all their hard work, the musical ends up being a smash hit!" Song titles include "I Wanna Be a Producer," "When You Got It, Flaunt It," "Springtime for Hitler" and "Prisoners of Love."

The Producers played 33 previews and 2,502 regular performances at Broadway's St. James Theatre March 2001-April 2007. The original cast boasted Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Roger Bart, Gary Beach and Cady Huffman. The musical won 12 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

The summer at the Muny will also include productions of High School Musical (June 23-July 2), My Fair Lady (July 7-13), Miss Saigon (July 21-27), My One and Only (July 28-Aug. 3) and Fiddler on the Roof (Aug. 4-10).

The 90th season at the outdoor venue will also boast the musical revue 90 Years of Muny Magic. The production, according to the official Muny website, will take audiences "on a musical journey from grand opera and operettas to rock musicals." Performance dates are July 14-20.

For more information call (314) 361-1900, ext. 550 or visit www.muny.org.