note: entire contents copyright 2008 by Beverly Creasey
Back in the old days, before everything was televised---way, way before Def Comedy Jam, we bought record albums to hear the new comedians. There were no comedy clubs so once in a while, you could catch your favorite stand-up routine on the TONIGHT SHOW or, if you were really hooked on someone, you’d go to New York to see them in person at a cabaret club. Back then, everyone knew “The Two Thousand Year Old Man” and when GET SMART hit the airwaves, we were smitten but when Mel Brooks’ first feature film, a naughty little satire called THE PRODUCERS, hit the downtown “double-feature” cinema---that was the frosting on the cake.
He did it again on a grand scale in 2001, turning the l968 movie into a musical which won him a slew of Tonys. Now North Shore Music Theatre is showing us why. THE PRODUCERS is supremely naughty, shamelessly irreverent and downright hilarious. It would have to be, to have us leaving the show singing “Springtime For Hitler.” If you don’t know ---where have you been?---THE PRODUCERS of the title plan to fleece their investors out of a fortune by producing a great big flop.
Director/choreographer Bill Burns gives us thrilling dances and some adorable performances, namely Jim Stanek as the bashful Bloom (CPA to schemer Scott Davidson) and a powerhouse leading lady in Amy Bodnar as the “Svedish” bombshell. Who could have imagined that a musical about “Hotsy Totsy Nazis” would be hailed (or is that “heiled”) a resounding success. It is and it is.