In Final Weeks, First Tour of Producers Gets a Refugee From Urinetown; Company Folds Jan. 30

News   In Final Weeks, First Tour of Producers Gets a Refugee From Urinetown; Company Folds Jan. 30
After a healthy run, the first touring company of The Producers will fold Jan. 30 in the same city where it premiered in September 2002 — Pittsburgh.

Hunter Foster
Hunter Foster

By that time, Tony Award nominee Hunter Foster (Little Shop of Horrors) will have joined the tour troupe, repeating the role of nebbishy producer Leo Bloom, which he played on Broadway in 2004.

Foster joins the road company only briefly. He begins Jan. 14 in Syracuse. The company disbands Jan. 30 at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh after a 28-month run that included an eight-month sitdown on Los Angeles.

(Foster is heading to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, to play Ensign Pulver in a revival of Mister Roberts this spring.)

Alan Ruck left this touring company (dubbed the "Max Tour") as Leo on Dec. 19, 2004, to prepare for playing Leo in the Broadway company (ironically replacing Hunter Foster). Ruck begins at Broadway's St. James Theatre Jan. 11, opposite his pal from TV's "Spin City," Richard Kind, as Max.

The current principals in the first national tour are Lewis Stadlen as Max (he launched the tour back in 2002), Charley Izabella King as Ulla, Harry Bouvy as Carmen Ghia, Michael McCormick as Franz and Lee Roy Reams as Roger. Stadlen and other principals on the tour were bumped out of the company for the L.A. stop and bounced to Broadway. Sexier box office stars Martin Short and Jason Alexander took over as Leo and Max for L.A. for eight months in 2003, and Stadlen later returned to the tour to reign as the "King of Broadway" Max Bialystock.

A second touring company — the "Leo Tour" — continues. Its final U.S. engagement (per the show's website) is June 7-19 for Dallas Summer Musicals at Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas. It then travels to Japan for three weeks.

The smash Mel Brooks musical (based on his film of the same name) won a record number of Tony Awards in spring 2001.

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For those keeping score during the casting transition for the Stadlen-Foster tour, Patrick Boyd will play Leo Tuesday-Friday Jan. 4-7 (four performances) in Buffalo. Harry Bouvy will play Leo Jan. 8-9 (four performances).

Alan Benneet will play Carmen Jan. 8-9 while Bouvy is playing Leo.

In Syracuse, Bouvy will play Leo Jan. 11-13 (three performances). Patrick Boyd will play Carmen Jan. 11-13 while Bouvy is playing Leo.

Foster, as mentioned, will begin performances as Leo on Jan. 14.

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