Producing The Producers
Hold on to your hats! The Farmington Players are in rehearsal for their production of the multiple Tony Award-winning musical.
At the Farmington Players Barn, things are hopping as the troupe prepares for its upcoming spring musical, The Producers.
Based on Mel Brooks' hilarious 1968 film by the same name, the musical was one of the most popular hits in Broadway history and won a record 12 Tony Awards during its New York run. With the book by Brooks and Thomas Meeham and music/lyrics also by Brooks, the show is faithful to the film and in some respects is even funnier. The show was released for production by community theater companies just a couple of years ago, and the Barn jumped at the challenge to bring this show to life.
In a nutshell, The Producers tells the story of Max Bialystock, a scheming, smarmy (now-failed) Broadway producer desperately seeking a hit show to put him back on top of the theater scene; and his unlikely partnership with Leo Bloom, a neurotic, nebbishy accounting nerd who longs to break free of his spreadsheet-ruled life.
Together they decide a producer can, with a little larceny, make more money from a flop than a hit, and hilarity ensues as they attempt to produce the worst Broadway show in history.
In true Brooks style, the show spoofs a collection of hilarious stereotypes. There's the sexy Swedish bombshell, the crazed ex-Nazi who's always one minute away from blowing his stack, the flamboyantly gay theater director and his even more flamboyant assistant, the mild-mannered, milquetoast accountant strangely attached to his little blue security blanket and the brazen, desperate producer willing to seduce little old ladies to fund his next show and revisit his former fame.
Putting on a Broadway-style musical is no small feat. Besides needing a cast of multitalented actors who can also sing and dance, a full orchestra and fast-moving choreography, the costuming is elaborate, the sets complex, prop lists extensive and an effective set, lighting and sound design crucial to a successful show.
That said, the Farmington Player's production is shaping up to be one raucous romp of a performance that will provide a great night of entertainment for Barn audiences. One caution: the show is probably not for those younger than 12 or so. It has a few jokes and situations that might be awkward for parents to explain – this is a Mel Brooks script, after all.
Musical director Stan Harr and choreographer Valerie Mould have been hard at work on exciting solo and ensemble musical numbers such as "I Want To Be a Producer," "If You Got It, Flaunt It" and the infamous show-stopper, "Springtime For Hitler."
Director Cynthia Tupper puts all of that together into one cohesive show with the help of two assistant directors, Michael Schacherbauer and Mary Ann Tweedie.
So call the Barn, reserve your tickets and get ready to laugh. Check your politically correct meter at the door and settle in to enjoy the zany, irreverent musical that got standing ovations night after night on Broadway.
The Producers opens April 29 and runs weekends through May 21. Tickets are $18, $16 for students, and are available online or by calling 248-553-2955.