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BWW Review: THE PRODUCERS at Théâtre De Paris

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The best French-language musical of the century so far.

BWW Review: THE PRODUCERS at Théâtre De Paris Aside from the revival of The Lion King after 15 years, Stage Entertainment this year is playing it a little less safe for once, with the first French adaptation of the millenium's first multiple Tony-award winning mega hit, The Producers, co-written and scored by Mel Brooks, based on his own 1967 movie, which already contained two musical production numbers, "Springtime for Hitler" and "Prisoners of Love." Adapting the superbly written original by Thomas Meehan and incorporating Brook's sometimes bawdy book was a challenge for Alexis Michalik, also director and co-producer of this production, and Nicolas Engel, especially in this era of political correctness. The good news that he really did it well. Who cares if right-minded people might find it offensive towards women, gays, the elderly, and Jews in making light of the Third Reich? A lot of fun from beginning to end, this is clearly the best French adaptation of a Broadway show so far this century.

BWW Review: THE PRODUCERS at Théâtre De Paris

Of course, that would not have happened without the uber-talented cast, led by Canadian born Serge Postigo, owing nothing to Nathan Lane as Max Bialystock. In his debut leading role in Paris, his performance is the crown jewel of a distinguished career of adapting and staging over 30 musicals in Canada such as, Grease, Mama Mia, Nine, and Mary Poppins. Benoit Cauden, seen in the French version of Oliver Twist and just before lockdown Michalik's Edmond, is a perfect match as a particularly moving Léopold Bloom.

BWW Review: THE PRODUCERS at Théâtre De Paris Songwriter Roxane Le Texier also delivers an impeccable performance in the cliché-ridden part of Ulla, as does David Eguren, last seen in the Eiffel Tower musical La Tour de 300 mètres, in the double role of Roger De Bris and The Fuhrer in the show within the show. In the part of Franz Liebkin, played by Will Ferrell in the 2005 movie version of the Broadway show, in his seventh collaboration with Michalik, Régis Vallée, who ironically started out teaching German in real life, is also quite convincing, particularly in his rendition of "Haben Sie Gehört Das Deutsches Band?" of course! But the most laughs of the evening are caused by the irresistible Andy Cocq, campier than even Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia, stealing every scene he appears in, just like he did in French version of Spamalot in 2010. The ensemble, doubling as supporting characters, is also cream of the crop, particularly Hervé Lewandowski, Alexander Bernot (recently seen at Mogador in Chicago and Ghost) as the tenor in "Springtime," and Véronique Hatat as the over the top Hold Me-Touch Me! BWW Review: THE PRODUCERS at Théâtre De Paris

Without ever copying the original choreography by Susan Stroman, Johan Nus does an excellent job with the help of Eva Tesiorowski, adding on a little more tapdancing than in the original! The costumes by Marion Rebman are quite on par with the original, and the sets by Juliette Azzopardi are quite efficient, although we miss the more spectacular original Broadway ones by Robin Wagner.

The seven-piece band, conducted by the great Thierry Boulanger is an added delight to a perfect evening of entertainment, the best antidote to these grim times. Long live Les Producteurs at the Théâtre de Paris!


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