CELEBRATING 125 YEARS IN MUSICAL THEATRE

THE PRODUCERS

BY MEL BROOKS

 

THE REGENT THEATRE, STOKE-ON-TRENT

3RD - 7TH NOVEMBER, 2009

 

SYNOPSIS

The Producers’ is a Broadway and West End sensation, winning every major Best New Musical Award including the Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics Circle Awards as well as the most Tont Awards in Broadway history: a staggering 12 in total. When down on his luck theatrical producer Max Bialystock and his hapless accountant Leo Bloom, hatch the ultimate theatrical scam - to raise the money they need to produce a sure-fire Broadway disaster, and then pocket the left-over cash when the show flops- who do they turn to? The world’s worst director of course, Roger DeBris. Their guaranteed to fail fiasco? Springtime for Hitler - the musical.

REVIEW

According to The Producers the way to make serious money from a theatrical production is by staging an almightly flop. If that was truly the case then North Staffordshire Operatic Society are set to be disappointed with their latest musical, as it's anything but.

The opening night of The Producers at Hanley's Regent Theatre attracted an audience that looked to be around half-full, which is more than plenty of professional, touring productions. And this was despite the tickets being priced at £12, £16 and £18, also on a par with some professional productions.

Once in full swing, The Producers was fast-paced and very entertaining, with comic characters played well by this locally-based amateur cast. Jon Bott and Tom Pear starred as crooked producer Max Bailystock and hapless accountant Leo Bloom, together acting, singing and dancing their way through most of the action. They were joined by Catherine O'Reilly as Ula, Tony O'Rourke as Roger DeBris, Edward Stokes as Carmen and a very funny Thomas Davies as Franz Liebkind.

The sets were elaborate and were moved slickly and seamlessly. This element of the show was perhaps the most impressive for me, and credit is definitely due to those responsible.

If you're unfamiliar with the plot of The Producers, it involves the Broadway show Springtime For Hitler deliberately created to be a failure.

The producers hatch a plot to put on the all-singing, all-dancing, swastika-draped homage to Hitler and his Reich, fully expecting to make a killing when it bombs.It sounds in bad taste, but it's actually hilarious and you have to remember that it's author, Mel Brooks, is Jewish. And, believe me, Nazi stormtroompers tap dancing across The Regent's stage is quite a sight to behold. So well done North Staffs Operatic Society for bringing something a little different to Hanley, and staging it so professionally.

FEATURED CAST

Max Bialystock Jon Bott

Leo Bloom Tom Pear

Franz Leibkind Thomas Davies

Roger De Bris Tony O’rourke

Carmen Ghia Edward James Stokes

Ulla Swason Catherine O’reily

PRODUCTION TEAM

Director Scott St Martin

Musical Director Liz Talbot

Choreographer Scott St Martin

Dance Captain Val Waddell

Stage Manager Terry Wright

Costumes Margaret Noyce

 

 

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CELEBRATING 125 YEARS IN MUSICAL THEATRE

CELEBRATING 125 YEARS IN MUSICAL THEATRE