The Producers. The very name is enough to make film goers and theatrical audiences smile. It takes guts to take on a tour de force beloved of film and theatre world.
To be precise, it takes guts and old ladies with walking frames and audiences with a sense of humour double parked the safe side of over sensitive. Remember Springtime for Hitler, anybody?
Based on the much-loved Academy Award winning movie, The Producers is a hilarious musical comedy that has taken Broadway and the West End by storm and is about to wow audiences in Blackpool thanks to a canny bit of rights-negotiation on the part of Blackpool Operatic Players.
It runs from Wednesday to Saturday at the Grand Theatre with Howard Raw and Neil Townsend taking on the lead roles – both of them producers in their own right outside of this show with 81 years’ experience, both in front and behind the footlights, at an impressive range of theatres.
Both are having a ball with Blackpool Operatic Players for the first time, making the most of the opportunity to play these wonderful characters and make new friends.
They are following in the footsteps of Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel (in the Mel Brooks film) as Messrs Leo Bloom and Max Bialystock who trades sexual favours with elderly ladies in return for their backing of a bad taste musical set up to fail – leaving them to flee with millions. Instead it’s hailed as a satire and becomes a triumph. Peter Kay was a huge hit on tour as Roger DeBris, New York’s gayest and worst theatre director, so Blackpool Operatic are out, in every sense, to make some of the defining roles their own.
As with the whole premise upon which it’s based the local society’s all singing all dancing spectacular looks like winning rave reviews judging from early reports from the rehearsals – which started back in September. All that and grannies on roller skates, a scooter and a space hopper. Not to mention THAT song which puts the goose stepping into toe tapping...
The Producers is being preformed nightly at the Grand from Wednesday to Saturday at 7.30pm with matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2pm. Call the box office on (01253) 290190 for more information.