Review Roundup: THE PRODUCERS at the Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl's production of THE PRODUCERS ended its limited run on July 29, 2012. The cast featured Richard Kind as Max Bialystock, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Leo Bloom, Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia, Gary Beach as Roger De Bris, Rebecca Romijn as Ulla and Dane Cook as Franz Liebkind.
From the brilliantly comedic mind of Mel Brooks comes this insanely funny adventure-a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer and his mild-mannered accountant concoct a get-rich scheme to bilk their investors out of millions by producing the most notorious flop in history. Based on Brooks' Oscar-winning 1968 film, The Producers, with score and lyrics by Mel Brooks and a book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, became a Broadway smash hit, winning a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards. For more information, visit www.HollywoodBowl.com.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Charles McNulty, LA Times: The rushed logistics of producing a big musical at the Bowl didn't allow Stroman to live up to her perfectionist reputation. Microphones were erratic, lines were flubbed, a door refused to open, costume changes hit roadblocks. At one point, after a longish delay, Richard Kind, who played Max Bialystock in a performance that was a good deal better than "almost good," returned to the stage with the excuse that is eminently forgivable in L.A.: "Traffic." But even with these snags, "The Producers" demonstrated its extraordinary tickling power.
Bob Verini, Variety: To bill "The Producers" as "A New Mel Brooks Musical," as the Hollywood Bowl did this weekend, was quite a stretch. New? After two films and legit engagements coast to coast, "Springtime for Hitler" is sorely in need of a spring awakening; the (Bialystock and) Bloom is off the rose. Fortunately, original helmer-choreographer Susan Stroman was on hand to restore some kick and bite to the all-time biggest Tony winner, and a fine time was to be had.
Tanner Stransky, Entertainment Weekly: Of the new players, the standout - and, in my opinion, the true scene-stealer of the evening - was very shockingly Cook. I don't think anyone expected that. For an actor, the only thing to do with a crazy role like Liebkind - the effeminate, yet militant, Nazi who keeps a slew of pet ducks and is the author of the book for the utterly offensive musical-within-the-musicalSpringtime for Hitler - is to dedicate yourself to the crazy of the performance, and Dane amazingly did that with stellar results.
LA Magazine: If beer goggles cloud one's perception of people in a bar, perhaps Tony Awards goggles do the same for Broadway shows. Over 10 years after becoming the "must-see" show and winning a record-setting 12 Tony Awards, The Producers appeared on stage for three performances over the weekend at The Hollywood Bowl. I'm left wondering: What was the fuss all about?
Audrey Linden, Examiner: There were so many clever production numbers. One that stands out to me is where Bialystock has to seduce his little old ladies. They all come on stage with their silver walkers and Stroman's very clever and original choreography which had the little old ladies doing a "stomp" number with their walkers showed such imagination! I think it topped the big "Springtime for Hitler" number for me or was a close second. De Bris in "Hotsie Totsie Nazi" ala Ehtel Merman brought the house down.