Login | Search:
Home | About Us | News | Events | Resources | ShowBiz | Directory | Gallery | Contact Us

Home : News : What's up in Europe ?


Artist in Spotlight
Association for Jewish Theatre
Book Reviews
Boston Stage
Call for Proposals
Children & Young people's Theatre
Conferences & Symposiums
David's Front Line
Editor's Notes
Ellen Schiff's Shelf
European Association for Jewish Culture - EAJC
Festival in Spotlight
Film Reviews
First Curtain
From Page to Stage
Global Arts Initiative
Holocaust Theatre On line Collection (HTC)
Info Center
Introduction to Jewish Theatre
Israeli Theatre Worldwide
Jacobo Kaufmann
Jewish Intercultural Performance Group
Kaleidoscope on New York Stage
Magazine Reviews
Merchant of Venice
Michael's Corner
New Publications
Open Space
Open Stage - Intercultural Junction
Philadelphia Stage
Play Reviews
Production Point
Productions on Tour
Recommended Website
Research & Collections
Revisiting the Past
Solo Performance - Online Catalogue
Spanish / Español : Artículos
Spanish / Español : Noticias y actividades culturales
Story Theatre
Success Story
The Arab- Israeli Melting Pot
The Bible on Stage
The European Research Center
The New York Scene
The Next Generation
Theatre and Physics
Theatre in Spotlight
Upfront Europe
What's New in Israel ?
What's New in London ?
What's New in Washington DC ?
What's Next ?
What's up in Australia ?
What's up in Europe ?
Yiddish Theatre

Email Page
Post Comment

Mel Brooks take his musical “The Producers” to Germany.

Convincing the Germans that a singing Hitler and dancing Nazis is entertainment is the current task facing U.S. comedian Mel Brooks, who hopes to take his musical “The Producers to Germany. U.S. comedian and director Mel Brooks has never been one to shy away from potential controversy in his pursuit of irreverent humor.

However, the man who rewrote the History of the World to include a musical version of the Spanish Inquisition and made small town racism in the American Wild West laugh-out-loud funny is now preparing to take on his toughest audience with material that strikes at its very marrow. Brooks wants to get the Germans to laugh at Hitler.

A German theatre company is interested in hosting Brooks’ successful Broadway musical “The Producers,” a story of two New York con men who deliberately open the most distasteful musical ever in a bid to swindle investors, which contains a show-stopping second act entitled Springtime for Hitler complete with a chorus line of goose-stepping Nazis.

German delegation invited

Brooks  has invited a "representative sample of Germans" -- or as the 77-year-old Brooklyn-born Jewish comedian put it unrepentantly, "Twenty-five krauts with their helmets on" -- to vet the production at the St. James Theater on Broadway, which is once again starring the original leading men Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in the roles of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom.

"The delegation  will decide whether or not this is just too unspeakably rude for the Germans," said Brooks at a press conference to announce the transfer of the Broadway show to London’s West End. "We’ll see if it works out - if they are upset, or if they are young enough to roll with the punches and make fun of the Nazi regime. If they like it, and say 'this will go down nicely', then we'll do it."

Older people may have a problem with content

Brooks conceded that there may be some who could cause problems with plans to stage the musical in Germany. “Anyone over 60 may have an ax to grind.” “It's not a matter of taste,” he added. “It's a matter of the show closing if they don't like it -- or of me being shot in the head by a sniper's rifle.” But ultimately, he said, the idea was only to provide a night of entertainment. "We want to get people laughing; we don't want to offend anybody."

"Rhetoric does not get you anywhere, because Hitler and Mussolini are just as good at rhetoric. But if you can bring these people down with comedy, they stand no chance."

Making Hitler a figure of fun

Co-writer Tom Meehan said, "Mel is a little man from Brooklyn who has no power except to ridicule. He takes on Hitler, and makes him a figure of fun. There is something charmed about Mel. If anybody else did that, they would get themselves killed."

The Tony Award-winning director developed the musical from the original screenplay of his 1968 film of the same name which starred Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. Brooks launched the stage version in 2001. He said that he had taken heart from the apparent success of the movie in Germany. "Germans seem to like the film, but they're young. They're kids, they're smart," he said.

The West End production of the show is set to open in November and will star British actor and comedian Lee Evans and American actor Richard Dreyfuss.

Contact :

Broadway Production at St. James Theater
246 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036

Info: 212-239-6200
e-mail : info@producersontour.com

Web: http://www.producersontour.com

Company :
Mel Brooks Music and Lyrics
Susan Stroman Director & Choreographer
Glen Kelly Musical Arranger
Patrick Brady Musical Direction/Vocal Arrangements
Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan Book
Robin Wagner Set Designer
William Ivey Long Costume Designer
Peter Kaczorowski Lighting Designer
Steve Kennedy Sound Design
Doug Besterman Orchestrations

Brad Oscar
Actor - Max Bialystock
Roger Bart
Actor - Leo Bloom
Gary Beach
Actor - Roger De Bris
John Treacy Egan
Actor - Franz Liebkind
Brad Musgrove
Actor - Carmen Ghia
Angie Schworer
Actor - Ulla

Related Links:

  • The Producers Images
  • The Producers film credit

    Bookmark    Print    Send to friend    Post a comment  

    There is currently 1 comment about this article:

      auroraben, N. California    (8/19/2005)

  • Copyright © 2002 - 2015 All About Jewish Theatre. All rights reserved.
    Concept and Content by NCM Productions | Graphic Design by Sharon Carmi | Programming by Tigersoft, Ltd.
    Privacy Policy | Site Map | Contact Us