November 21, 2018

When You’ve Got it, Flaunt it!

Michael McDermott*, Liz Clark Golson, R. Bruce Connelly - Photograph courtesy of Jacqui Hubbard

The Ivoryton Playhouse will be flaunting it in full Broadway style when it opens The Producers on July 6. Complete with dancing girls and show-stopping numbers, The Producers was one of the hottest tickets on Broadway when it opened at the St. James Theatre on April 19, 2001. It featured Nathan Lane (Max Bialystock), Matthew Broderick (Leo Bloom), Roger Bart (Carmen Ghia), Gary Beach (Roger de Bris), Brad Oscar (Franz Liebkind) and Cady Huffman (Secretary). The show went on to win a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards.

Producer/director Mel Brooks took a real gamble when he adapted his 1968 cult film satire to the musical stage.  The story was outrageous: flop-covered theatrical producer Max Bialystock realizes the road to his financial redemption lies in producing the worst musical ever written, raising 25,000 percent of the capital, and pocketing it all when the show is a one-night-only disaster. Aided and abetted by a nebbishy accountant named Leo Bloom, Bialystock options the rights to a “gay romp with Adolf and Eva in Berchtesgarten” called “Springtime for Hitler.” Of course, if the show, by some insane stretch of credulity, were to become a hit, Bialystock and Bloom would be thrown in jail. And that’s exactly what happens.

Ben Brantley of The New York Times called it “A sublimely ridiculous spectacle that will leave you delirious!”  The lyrics brim with Mel Brooks’ distinctive wit, and though he’ll never be confused with Oscar Hammerstein, this brazen and bawdy man knows how to entertain better than almost anyone.  As for the tunes, Brooks crafts a number of truly memorable ones–don’t be surprised to find yourself horrified as you hum along with “Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop” and, of course, “Springtime for Hitler.” 

R. Bruce Connelly* and Michael McDermott* are returning to Ivoryton to play Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom. Also featuring Liz Clark Golson as Ulla, William Broderick* as Roger DeBris and Mark Woodard* as Franz Liebkind. Guilford resident Schuyler Beeman will playing the outrageous Carmen Ghia.

The Producers is directed by Julia Kiley. Set Design is by Tony Andrea; Lighting Design by Tate Burmeister; Costume Design is by Vivianne Lamb.  The Producers opens on July 6th and runs thru July 31st for 4 weeks. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting their website at  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*member of Actors Equity