Review – The Producers

July 8, 2012 | By | Reply More

★★★★★     Confident

Church Hill Theatre: Wed 4 – Sat 7 July 2012
Guest reviewer Martin Gray

If you wanna be a producer, there are easier options than this Mel Brooks musical. The story of shyster Max Bialystock and accountant Leo Bloom’s bid to make a fortune by staging a Broadway flop, it could easily fall flat itself.

The production numbers are big, the jokes require actors with real comic chops, the songs need to be sung rather than simply sold… It takes a confident, or deluded, company to take it on.

The Producers from MGA productions: Alana Grant, Abbie Stenhouse, Amber Barclay, Adam Mackenzie Davidson, Laura Waterson and Eilidh Forbes.

The Producers from MGA productions: Alana Grant, Abbie Stenhouse, Amber Barclay, Adam Mackenzie Davidson, Laura Waterson and Eilidh Forbes.

MGA Productions can safely be placed in the former category. Because this show is a triumph to make Max and Leo weep. From opening number Opening Night (appropriately enough) to the final Goodbye, via such delights as the sexily sweet When you’ve got it, flaunt it and touching ‘Til him, the show never stalls. And of course, there’s Springtime for Hitler, the show within a show showcasing the Terpsichorean possibilities of the goose step.

As performing arts students, Ali Colam and Cameron Dyer are a lot younger than their characters, but they portray Max and Leo with playful assuredness. Dyer is the consummate song and dance man in I wanna be a producer, while Colam’s handling of Betrayed – a reprise of pretty much the whole show – is astonishing.

Lauren McGee is is hilarious as Ulla, the Swedish object of both men’s attentions, as tuneful as she is flexible. And Peter Vint inhabits Nazi holdover Franz Liebkind as well as he does his lederhosen.

triple-threat

Every actor makes their individual mark, while working as part of a sparkling team that combines talent with craft. As well as the main cast, there’s a tremendous bunch of backing players giving us their foolish Nazis, showgirl accountants and little old ladies. The scene shifters, too, are great value, doubling as pouting usherettes. The action even extends to the auditorium, as little old ladies zoom around in wheelchairs and Village People tickle our backs.

Under musical director Simon Hanson, the band makes the most of Brooks’ cracking score. And director Andrew Gowland and choreographer Murray Grant’s contributions are seamless, they’ve wrangled their triple-threat charges to fantastic effect. The show never stops moving and it never stops being superb. As good as anything you’ll see on the professional stage this year, the Producers produces the goods.

Edinburgh Church Hill Theatre
Wed 4 – Sat 7 July 2012
Run ended

ENDS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your comments