Review Roundup: THE PRODUCERS by Repertory Philippines

Manila, December 6, 2013--Carlo Orosa (Max Bialystock), Robie Zialcita (Max Bialystock), Topper Fabregas (Leo Bloom) and Giselle Tongi-Walters (Ulla) star in Repertory Philippines' 76th theater season final offering, Mel Brooks' "The Producers," which runs at Onstage Theatre (2/F, Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi St., Makati City) until Sunday, December 15.

Adapted from the 1968 film of the same name, "The Producers," the post 9/11 Broadway musical comedy, was written by Brooks and Thomas Meehan, with songs arranged by Glen Kelly and Doug Besterman.

According to production notes, "Its story follows two Broadway producers who scheme to get rich by overselling interests in a Broadway flop. Its humor draws on ridiculous accents, homosexual stereotypes and Nazis, along with many show business in-jokes."

Now let's hear what the critics had to say:

Vladimir Bunoan, Compared to the stage magic of "Cinderella" and the creepy set of "The Addams Family," Rep's "The Producers" seemed quaint and small. The painted backdrops appeared deliberately frugal and one can only imagine how numbers like "Springtime for Hitler" would look like on a giant stage with a large cast.

But the simple staging of director Jaime del Mundo does not get in the way of one's appreciation of the musical. Not when you have a cast this game to please the audience. The chorus, though small, had to take on multiple roles - the men even dressed up as oversexed grannies in the group number "Along Came Bialy" - but managed to stay energetic throughout the fast-paced show...

Those who have seen "The Producers" on Broadway may be disappointed with the local version's design shortcomings but it's such an enjoyable musical that you'd still find yourself thoroughly entertained.

Karen A. Pagsolingan, Pep.Ph: If you need a break from all the not-so-good-news on TV or the stress and strains of work, go watch The Producers.

It is modest in terms of production value, but marvelous as far as talent inflow.

Forget about the grand sets, the 23-piece orchestra of the original Broadway staging, and the full of frills costumes.

The heft of this Mel Brooks musical is in the performances -with each actor having a moment of pure comic genius.

Very crucial, of course, is the role of Max Bialystock, now world-famous because of the Broadway icon Nathan Lane.

Repertory Philippines rightly pickEd Carlo Orosa for the role. On cue, the 49-year-old actor impressively transformed himself into a dubious and dirty-old-man Broadway producer!

Zsarlene B. Chua, BusinessWorld: Rep's production, directed by Jaime del Mundo, is a rousing success because of a mixture of great casting and excellent direction. One honestly cannot go from a minute to the next without a chuckle or a guffaw...

Orosa's unapologetically crude and desperate Bialystock is a character you either hate or love but will laugh at nonetheless, and Fabregas as the hysterical, socially awkward, I-wanna-be-a-producer Bloom completes this screwball comedic duo.

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Oliver Oliveros Oliver Oliveros recently received a master's degree in public relations and corporate communication from New York University while serving as regional director for, where he accepted an Award for Excellence in 2013.

For nearly 20 years, Oliver has been handling public relations, corporate communication, and integrated marketing communications for numerous brands (including Pepsi), Broadway shows, Broadway stars, non-profit organizations, and mainstream celebrities.

He is also the editor-in-chief for FIL-AM WHO'S WHO, a monthly magazine that tells the real-life success stories of Filipino Americans from the New York Tri-State area.

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