The Producers of “The Producers” have once again created a masterpiece on stage at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre at 1001 S Indiantown Road, Jupiter. The musical runs through January 29. Tickets start at $56 and the curtain goes up at 7:30. The show has been selling out so don’t wait. For additional information, call (561) 575-2223 or visit jupitertheatre.org.
“’The Producers’ is a comic tour-de-force and a hilarious audience favorite,” said Andrew Kato, the Theatre’s producing artistic director and chief executive.
The production is flawless from the amazing scenery (Paul Tate dePoo III), to lighting (Paul Black), to costume design (Gail Baldoni), to music direction (Michael Larsen), to sound design (Marty Mets), to choreography (Shea Sullivan), and so many more.
The musical was adapted by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan from Brooks' 1968 film of the same name. “The Producers” features lyrics by Brooks and music composed by Brooks and arranged by Glen Kelly and Doug Besterman. The musical opened on Broadway in 2001 starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick and ran for 2,502 performances, winning a record-breaking number of Tony Awards® and earning rave reviews.
I was a little concerned that not having Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in the lead roles would distract me but my fears were groundless. Lenny Wolpe as Max Bialystock and Mark Price as Leo Bloom are very different people bringing their own skills to the parts and my concern disappeared.
Elyse Collier as Ulla is every bit the bombshell in her own right and with a cast of 21, land a nine-piece orchestra, there’s lots of other youth, beauty, and talent to fill out the ensemble.
For those who don’t know the story, after several flops, former superstar producer, Max Bialystock (Lenny Wolpe), colludes with his accountant Leo Bloom (Mark Price) to create a sure-fire flop and keep their investors’ money.
Together they find Springtime for Hitler. They then convince the reputedly worst director in New York to put the show together and make it gay. Which he does, in flames. The show opens. Bialystock and Bloom are waiting for it to crash when suddenly the audience embraces the musical and it becomes a huge success.
“When ‘The Producers’ came along using every gag, gadget and gimmick that you’d find in an old vaudeville trunk, it let us rediscover the joy of humor that knows no boundaries, aiming straight at our funny bone without irony or introspection, said director Martino in “The Director’s Notes” of the playbill.
Martino’s reference to Vaudeville may be portentous. It would be interesting to know how the musical is aging. I wonder how many people of different generations get the various notes of humor.
For example, how many attendees under the age of 40 know what a Carmen Ghia is? How about a bialy? Hitler and the Third Reich are falling off the memory trails and there seems to be a hesitance to laugh too quickly or too loudly at the gay laugh lines.
Despite all this, there’s lots of humor left and lots of us Boomers to keep laughing and explaining the jokes to their offspring.