BWW Reviews: One More Week To Catch 3D Theatricals Smashing PRODUCERS in Redondo
The Producers/book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan/music and lyrics by Mel Brooks/choreography (recreated from the original) by Linda Love Simmons/original direction recreated by David Lamoureux/3-D Theatricals @/Redondo Performing Arts Center/through March 2
What is left to be said about The Producers? It has toured and been produced many times over. You either love Mel Brooks or you hate him. I happen to be one of those who like what Mel Brooks does. Whether it be staged or on film, the incredible silliness of the words, story and music latches onto your private laugh track for all time. This Producers is exceptional because it has the original touring sets and costumes, tip-top direction and choreography and best of all, a truly outstanding cast headed by Jeff Skowron, Jay Brian Winnick, Norman Large and David Engel.
There is no attempt here to copy the antics of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick or Jason Alexander and Martin Short. Under David Lamoureux's keen direction, the actors - all - play their roles as written, with no personality excesses or quirks, or unnecessary shtick. It's good solid work. Skowron steps into Leo Bloom quite genuinely, making the annoying mannerisms totally believable. Winnick fits Max Bialystock like a glove, and like Skowron, plays the character without pushing for laughs. Brooks makes the dialogue funny enough; there's no need to go any further over the top!
Since he last essayed the role in 2009, Engel has grown nicely as diva director Roger Debris, and his Hitler continues to be quite alluring and loveable. Kudos also to Leigh Wakeford, stylishly hilarious as his 'queenly' partner Carmen, to the beautiful Hilary Michael Thompson as delicious Ulla, to the ever resourceful Norman Large as butch Franz Liebkind and to Tracy Lore, an always resilient standout as Hold Me-Touch Me, as well as being a a colorful part of the ensemble.
This is a wonderful evening of fun and camp and the beginning of another triumphant season for 3-D Theatricals.