BWW Reviews: Scottsdale Musical Theater Company's THE PRODUCERS Is A Robust Laugh-And-A-Half

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In the immortal words of Ulla Inga Hansen Benson Yansen Tallen Hallen Svaden Swanson, "If you've got it, flaunt it." Well, Scottsdale Musical Theater Company has it, and its cast has flaunted it in its rib-tickling production of Mel Brooks' The Producers at Tempe Center for the Arts.

This is the second time in four months that The Producers has been staged in the Valley of the Sun, and it is as rich in talent and comic zest as the finely honed production at Arizona Broadway Theatre, thanks to the astute direction of David Hock and the standout performances of Hector Coris (Max Bialystock), Matt Newhard (Leopold Bloom), Marina Blue Jarrette (Ulla), Patrick Russo (Franz Liebkind), the ever-versatile and eminently gifted Terry Gadaire (Roger Debris), and an energetic ensemble.

One of the great and daunting challenges of Mr. Brooks' comic classics is his roster of iconic characters. Each demands that an actor stretch beyond the norm and boldly go where no thespian man or woman has gone before. Kudos to the cast for delivering on the challenge!

The chemistry between Mr. Coris, rich in voice and presence, and Mr. Newhard, owning a keen comic sensibility, is perfectly balanced. Ms. Jarrette is a promising young talent with a voice that belts out the high notes with wonder woman power. Mr. Russo is spot-on as the pigeon-tending Nazi, nostalgic for the lost Reich, and relying on Springtime for Hitler to rekindle the fascist passion. Mr. Gadaire is hilarious as the flamboyant Roger Debris and, once again, as he has done consistently in the roles he has assumed, demonstrates a depth and range of talent that leads one to ask, "Why isn't this guy on Broadway?"

The only sad note of this review is that the Company has scheduled such a short run, ending today. Too bad for those who will have missed it, but an alert to keep an eye out for its upcoming production of Gypsy in June.

Photo credit to Madison Truman



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From This Author Herbert Paine