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Theatre League - The Producers, The
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Reviewed on 2004-04-21
(The Producers Runs April 27 - May 9)

The big show is finally here. The winner of the most Tony awards in Broadway History. Join Bob Amaral and Andy Taylor in the new Mel Brooks musical "The Producers". It is based on his 1968 film of the same name which ranks #11 as one of the 20 greatest comedies of all times (in a recent survey by the American Film Institute). A 3-year collaboration beginning in 1998 resulted in a new book for the Musical, 16 new songs and gave the musical a life of its own. It was an immediate Broadway success and soon became the hottest show to see. It swept the 2001 Tony Awards with 12 wins, the most in Broadway history.

You don't have to fly to New York to see it, the traveling road show "The Producers" hits Kansas City April 27. Follow the story of down on his luck theatrical producer Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, a mousy accountant as they hatch the ultimate scam: raise more money than you need for a sure fire Broadway flop and pocket the difference: "Springtime for Hitler". I interviewed a very upbeat Bob Amaral who plays Max. He advised this traveling show is exactly the same as the Broadway hit and only 10% smaller. It differs from the movie because it has much more music and expanded characters. Bob joined the production in Chicago and couldn't help but notice how much the audience went wild over the show. His message to KC is be ready to laugh! And have a good time. He said "I mean bend over, knee slapping, rolling in the Isle laughter". Bob loved the movie and Mel Brooks was like a comedy god to him. He also followed Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner. Bob has a great rapport with co-star Andy Taylor who play accountant Leo Bloom and hopes KC will appreciate this fantastic production.

After seeing the show, I was overwhelmed by the fabulous production. One of my favorite parts was the elaborate musical within a musical: "Springtime for Hitler" The sequence is embellished with wild costumes, Busby Berkeley-like moments from director/choreographer Susan Stroman that kept playing over and over in my mind. The show grabbed the audience and kept a hold on thm as they loved the humor, the music, and the talented cast anchored by Bob Amaral, played the lead whose double takes and one-liners provided many of the laughs. He played Max Bialystock, a shady Broadway producer who cons little old ladies out of their money. Andy Taylor was great as the lovable accountant Leo Bloom who helps Max hatch a plot to earn millions. Leigh Curtis was the leggy blonde secretary Ulla (who just played with Nathan Land and Matthew Brodrick on Broadway). And was gorgeous and talented. The supporting cast was superb as well. Don't miss this spectacular show. You won't be disappointed.

Tickets available at Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and www.theaterleague.com.







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