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Review

The Producers
by Greasepaint Youtheatre
 

THE SHOW:  

It’s Mel Brooks’ mega-hit that scored twelve Tony Awards, based on the Brooks’ 1968 film starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. But a mega-hit is exactly what the producers in the show want to avoid. The story centers on Max Bialystock who has a recent history of Broadway busts, and the meek accountant Leo Bloom sent over to do his books who voices an amusing insight that a producer could make a huge profit by over-selling shares in a sure-to-bust Broadway show, as no one would expect their money back. Thus the plot is hatched, with Max talking the nervous Leo into partnering up, and the search for a sure-fire Broadway bust is born. And Springtime for Hitler, a musical written by a nutty fan of Der Fuhrer, is discovered. How could it fail to fail?  

THE PRODUCTION:  

Greasepaint Youtheatre’s got it and they flaunt it with a deeply talented cast and creative team, putting together a sensational production you won’t want to miss. Colin Ross directs with a keen eye for the show’s outrageous humor that his cast fully embraces. Lauran Stanis’s choreography is delightful and perfectly executed. And the cast looks beautiful dancing and acting with stylish costumes by Ben Bozovich.  

Of course, you need to have a couple terrific leads as the two producers. Jack Rose nails the flamboyantly cynical Max Bialystock, long-time Broadway producer who finds new inspiration and energy thanks to Bloom. And he’s going to need every ounce of that energy as he works on Springtime for Hitler’s creative financing plan: inspiring scores of lonely elderly ladies to lay down the cash via the fundraising couch in Along Came Bialy. Not to mention reliving the entire show in the frantic monologue Betrayed. Hale Stewart is his hilarious counterpart as the meek accountant Bloom with big I Wanna Be a Producer daydreams, slowly transforming from finding comfort only in his little blue blanket to boldly going for the dream and for the girl. The duo work as a fantastic pair throughout. And Cami Benton makes three as their new, thickly accented, Swedish bombshell “If You Got It, Flaunt It” assistant Ula who drives them both bonkers with her amusing flaunting.  

Sawyer Bland is a riot as the pigeon-loving, crazed playwright behind Springtime, zealous to share with the world the untold story of Hitler’s happy-go-lucky side. And ready to complete Hitler’s image makeover are Sean Lillis as the director Roger DeBris and Andrey Lull as his devoted assistant Carmen Ghia. Between Sean’s melodramatic and pretentiously artsy drag queen and Andrey’s highly emotional and hysterically sensitive partner, the twosome guarantee to Keep It Gay.  

The ridiculously talented ensemble guarantee to keep each scene a masterpiece. Tatumn Zale is an amazing physical comedian as the “Hold me-Touch me” granny who might send Bialystock to the hospital, joined by a fantastic gaggle of grannies trying to get the biggest bang for their buck in Along Came Bialy. The chorus girls and accountants of I Wanna Be a Producer, the disgruntled patrons of Bialy’s bomb, the charming Usherettes, the whole city in The King of Broadway, and having it all come together for Springtime for Hitler and the Prisoners of Love. If Greasepaint was really intending to put on a bust, they accidentally staged a show for the ages. 

Performed October 16 - 25, 2015

Photos by Laura Durant

Rob Hopper
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Executive Director
National Youth Arts

~ Cast ~ 

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Leo Bloom: Hale Stewart
Max Bialystock: Jack Rose
Ula: Cami Benton
Roger: Sean Lillis
Carmen: Andrey Lull
Franz: Sawyer Bland
Ensemble:
Julian Mendoza
Matthew Villareal
Grant Roberts
Owen Stewart
Harrison McCoy
Tatumn Zale
Jasmine Bassham
Thea Nakagawa
Katie Rodin
Taylor Penn
Briana Fleming
Johnna Watson
Ashlyn Zale
Greer Tornquist
Megan Longton
Katy Sprowls
Andrra Hearn
Sabrina Hirshorn
Kasey Safa

Director: Colin Ross
Musical Director: Flora Mogerman
Choreographer: Lauran Stanis
Stage Manager: April Rozier
Set Designer: Rob Watson
Lighting Designer: Dale Nakagawa
Costume Designer: Ben Bozovich
Sound Designer: Pete Bish
Props Designer: Maria Amorocho
Scenic Artist: Karina Bland 

 


   

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