Once again the team that has been challenging local performers and crews to help create productions for the Courtyard Theater located in the Susquehanna Valley Mall in Hummel’s Wharf, has decided to end its first year in business with the ultimate goal: to bring to this area “The Producers”, the multi Tony-Award winning Broadway smash hit.
With Artistic Director Bob Taylor and one of the theater’s most experienced actors and Technical Director: Nick Buckman as Musical Director at the helm, this production promises to be the most entertaining play of the season.
Bringing “The Producers” to a small theater represents no small challenge. The theater’s stage can only accommodate 20 or so singers and dancers at one time. The play requires many set changes and the play’s story is a broad farce which also requires many costume changes, including a bevy of dancing Nazis.
“No one I’ve ever seen is better than meeting a challenge such as this than Bob Taylor” says Producer Art Lieberman of his partner. “And Nick has already shown his expertise in our musicals portraying the Judge in Sweeney Todd, John Adams in 1776 and as a tenor in the Valley Player’s presentation of Lend Me a Tenor. He also recently directed our recent production of The Rocky Horror Show.”
The Broadway production of “The Producers” holds several records. It won 12 Tony Awards after it opened at the St. James Theater on April 19th, 2001. It also became the first play to win an award in every category it received a nomination in. The awards were
Bests for: Musical, Book of a Musical, Original Story, Leading Actor, Featured Actor, Featured Actress, Director, Choreography, Orchestrations, Scenic design, Costumes, and Lighting. The play ran for 2,502 performances.
“The Producers” originally was Mel Brooks’ first film which he wrote in 1968. It was a comedy starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder and contained some songs written by Brooks. The Broadway show still had music and lyrics written by Brooks with the play co-written by Brooks and Thomas Meehan. In the play, the lead characters of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom were played by Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.
The musical was later filmed into the third incarnation of the original, once again starring Lane and Broderick.
The plot is about two producers who create a get-rich-quick scheme by overselling financial interests in a Broadway show and having it close immediately after opening. However, the show called “Springtime for Hitler” unexpectedly becomes successful. The humor of the show lies in the ridiculous accents, caricatures of homosexuals and Nazis and insider show business jokes.
Reviewers raved about the play, “Everything you’ve heard is 100% true,” says Clive Barnes of the New York Post. “It’s a cast-iron, super-duper mammoth old-time Broadway hit!”
“It’s fast, fierce, shameless, vulgar and altogether blissful” said Ben Brantley in Theater Review.
“The Producers” opens on November 21st for 9 weekend performances with evening performances of Fridays and Saturdays at 7:00 PM and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. The last performance will be Sunday December 7th. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 570-374-0060, Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 5:00, by hitting the ticket tab on the theater’s website at www.thecourtyardtheater.com, or two hours before every performance at the box office if tickets are still available.