“Reviews come out faster when the reviewer leaves at Half Time” states Max Bialystock at the beginning of The New Venture Players production of The Producers. Not so in this case. Directed by Gordon Collins and Becky Phillips and exquisitely choreographed by Abbie Gregory; the show had me hooked from the word go and there was no way I was leaving when the intermission came around.
Mel Brooks’ musical tale of two Producers Max Bialystock (Dave Constant) and Leo Bloom’s (Ben Hurley) attempt to stage the worst show on Broadway is magnificent from start to finish. It has all the glitz and glamour of a classical Hollywood production. There are many scenes to savor, particularly the Morecambe and Wise meets Busby Berkeley flavoured dance sequences featuring chorus girls descending from ledger cabinets and old ladies dancing with Zimmer frames.
Constant and Hurley are ideally cast as the two lead characters, applying all the physical energy and slapstick required for their roles to perfection. They are strongly supported by Joe Tulloch off the wall portrayal of Neo Nazi Franz Liebkind, Tony Wright’s excellent execution of camp director Roger De Bris and the Monroe-ish and bubbly Georgia Tasker-Davies as Ulla.
Musical numbers Opening Night, If You’ve Got It Flaunt It, and Springtime for Hitler all featured strong vocal performances as well as nicely timed comic sequences.
The New Venture Players presentation of The Producers is a highly polished production with many laughs along the way. It continues until Saturday.