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THE PRODUCERS to Open New Season at Theatre Memphis

The Producers will open the 2015-16 season August 21, 2015 and run untilSeptember 13, 2015 on the Lohrey Stage at Theatre Memphis. This Tony Award winner for Best Musical features two get-rich-quick theatrical producers who scheme and oversell interests in a Broadway show they plan on being a flop. The show unexpectedly becomes a hit and hilarity ensues along the way. Based on the Mel Brooks' film of the same name, the over-the-top satire, irreverence and in-your-face comedy make it a show to remember.

Award-winning director Cecelia Wingate leads this Theatre Memphis production which has proved to be a welcomed challenge to the cast and the TM staff to step up to the plate and to raise the bar. "Mel Brooks wrote some really difficult music here, and the choreography is so exciting because it is really stretching the actors ... in more ways than one," she laughs. "He also has created such a wild scenario that it requires some very specific and iconic things that the production values have to be right on the money. Thank God we have the TM staff to pull this off!" Even with the normally generous space available at Theatre Memphis to have multiple set pieces stored and ready to be pushed on stage, The Producers has pushed some limits. With the massive sets representing everything from a Nazi parade to a backstage Broadway show set designer Jack Yates acknowledges, "Any compromise we have made to make this the big show it needs to be has only to do with the space it takes to store all of the set pieces. It's a monster."

And the costumes have seemingly endless requirements, too. Amie Eoff, costume designer at Theatre Memphis, says, "Besides the very specific costumes like uniforms that need very specific decoration, there isone scene where 25 people change complete outfits an average of three times each. This is one of those shows where mastering the art of 'under-dressing' would really pay off except --- because of the scene --- there is very little under-dressing." Under Eoff's direction, the costume shop's full time, part time and volunteer workers designed, fit, bought and constructed for over 30 actors. "And that doesn't even include all the wigs we need!" Eoff adds. The production features Lee Hudson Gilliland (Leo Bloom) and Philip Andrew Himebook (Max Bialystock) alongside a talented cast which includes Christina Hernandez, Gregory Szatkowski, Justin Asher, Clark Richard Reeves and an ensemble of top notch actors, singers and dancers.

Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch raves about the possibilities of The Producers. "We set our standards high and don't back down from a challenge ... especially when we think we are doing the right show at the right time. The Producers is a BIG show but our staff and volunteers know how to make it shine. It will be one fun ride for our patrons!"

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