Reviewed by Wendy Mildren
Based on the 1968 Mel Brooks film The Producers musical was strongly suggested to Brooks by a friend who finally convinced him to write a stage version. Thank God he did because the Hills Musical Company have produced a rousing version as their first show for the Season, very well directed by Steve Rudd.
Max Bialystock is a down and out stage producer, and is forced to play games with little old ladies to gain money. His Accountant, Leo Bloom, tells him that a losing show would make him more money than a successful one. With this information the two of them search for the worst script, the most ineffective Director and the worst actors, but instead of failing its a huge success, much to Max and Leo’s chagrin.
Jamie Richards, as Max, was sensational. He has an extremely expressionate face and an almost rubber body, which he used to extract the last vestige of comedy from every line. His timing was spot on and had the large, boisterous audience screaming with laughter.
Omkar Nagesh, as Leo was the perfect foil to Jaimie’s Max. The early scene where he has hysterics and much use of his little blue blanket was a cracker. Paul Briske, the mad Nazi playwright was splendid and the scene with his beloved birds, complete with wings flapping and heads nodding, was a standout. Adam Harrison, as Carmen Ghia the very gay friend of Roger DeBris the worst director in history, was a standout in his very camp portrayal. Eden Plaisted as Roger was splendidly camp and his portrayal as the musical Hitler was great. Shenayde Wilkinson-Sarti took on the mammoth job of choreographer and the leading role of Ulla. She was appropriately volumptuous and danced like a professional.
Mention has to be made of the team who produced the 250 costumes. My God, 250!! They were sensational. The Set worked extremely well and the scene changes were executed with some help by the actors. The Orchestra was a joy to listen to and the large cast of singers and dancers were splendid and worked well on a fairly crowded stage. The only criticism was the lighting, but it is safe to assume that this will improve as the season progresses.