“The Producers” by Mel Brooks to open on Theatre Centre’s Main stage

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

“The Producers” opens Friday, August 13th, 2010 at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre.     Magge Hudgins directs this classic Brook’s musical comedy starring Chattanoogan’s, Allan Ledford in the role of Max Bialystock and Zach Cavan as Leo Bloom.      Here’s the write up from the Theatre Centre webpage:

The Mel Brooks Musical Adapted by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan. Lyrics by Mel Brooks; Music by Mel Brooks and Glen Kelly.

Adapted from the 1968 Mel Brooks movie by the same name, The Producers is the story of two theatrical producers who scheme to get rich quick by overselling interests in a Broadway show sure to be a flop. But when the show turns out to be a rousing success, things get complicated. The original production opened in 2001 on Broadway starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick and received a record 12 Tony Awards.

Nancy Shute wrote about “The Producers” for US News & World Report in 2001 in an article entitled, “20 Mel Brooks, His Humor Brings Down Hitler and the House.” Here’s an excerpt:

When the movie of The Producers debuted in 1968, many critics panned it as crude. But the film is now considered a classic, and when the stage version opened on Broadway earlier this year, it was an instant hit, sweeping the Tony Awards. It also sparked fresh complaints about its gleeful mockery of Nazis, Jews, and homosexuals.

Mel Brooks was well aware of Hitler’s tragic follies, Shute’s article continues:

Brooks, who is Jewish, saw the results of Hitler’s handiwork firsthand, while serving in the Army in Europe in World War II. “I didn’t see the camps, but I saw streams of refugees. They were starving. It was horrible.” Brooks attacked that horror with the only weapon he had–his wit.

Mel Brooks

Listen to interview with Magge Hudgins, Zack Cavan and Allan Ledford:

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