Last Wednesday night we went to see 'The Producers' at the Princess Theatre, at intermission I was chatting to my lovely mother in law. "I don't like musicals where they sing and dance" she said, this prompted me to ask what sort of musicals she did like. In a typical aussie woman manner she said "Well you know what I mean" I did not know what she meant and I asked her to explain further, this resulted in a peculiar disjointed explanation which could best be summed up as "I don't like musicals where they dance and sing". Well what could I say?
As for 'The Producers' well it is an excellent production. Reg Livermore was his typical energetic self albeit in a workmanlike manner. Tom Burlinson worked very well in his part, it is difficult to think of anyone else locally who would match so well. Bert Newton is difficult I didn't like him in the part however everyone I have spoken to thinks he is great, maybe it was the role I don't know I just didn't take to him that night. Chloe Dallimore was a delightful Ulla, beautiful and can sing and dance - what more could I say?
Now for me the real star was a choice between Tony Sheldon(Roger Debris) and Grant Piro(Carmen Ghia). On balance I will have to go for Tony Sheldon - talented, brash, confident and a superb stage presence. He stole every scene he was in, the stage seemed a little poorer everytime he left it.
As for the show, well I like some of Mel Brooks stuff, usually his lesser known work especially 'History of the World'. I did like his references to his other work, particularly the "It's good to be the King!" line. This show however I have difficulties with the Hitler part. I know Mel is Jewish and that he has no sacred cows and one of the best ways to destroy someone is to make fun of them - but. It's hard to be specific just that the concept of a singing dancing victorious Hitler left me cold it cuts too deep for me to enjoy. There is enough in this play to write a book analysing it and the effects of it, I have neither the time energy or intellect so I will leave it here.
P.S. I think I love the Pretzel Girl in the Hitler dance scene.