The Producers says farewell to Broadway

The Producers says farewell to Broadway with its final performance on 22 Apr 2007 at the St James Theatre. When the show closes it will have played 33 previews and 2,502 regular performances.

The record 12 time Tony Award winning musical, which celebrated its 6 anniversary on 19 Apr 2007, opened at St James Theatre on 19 Apr 2001, following previews from 21 Mar 2001.

The Producers has book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, music and lyrics by Mel Brooks and direction and choreography by Susan Stroman. The set design is by Robin Wagner, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting by Peter Kaczorowski and sound design by Steve Kennedy.

The musical will be replaced at the St Jame's Theatre by Mel Brook's next Broadway musical Young Frankenstein, which will have the same creative team that proved so succesful for the The Producers six year run on Broadway.

The Producers is the story of down-on-his-luck theatrical producer, Max Bialystock, and Leo Bloom, a mousy accountant. Together they hatch the ultimate scam: raise more money than you need for a sure-fire Broadway flop and pocket the difference. Their "sure-fire" theatrical fiasco?. . . None other than the musical Springtime for Hitler.

The Producers is credited by many for saving the musical comedy genre. For a while it seemed that Broadway musicals were destined to be romantic epics, such as Evita, Phantom, Miss Saigon, along with rock opera's such as Jesus Christ Superstar.

The Producers changed that by showing that there was still an audiance for the old fashioned musical comedy, with drag turns, smutty songs, 'silly' cameo roles and buxom dames, and as a consequence musical comedies are once again prominent on the Great White Way.

Mel Brooks said in a statement "The last six years working on this show have been pure joy for me. There is not a single person who has ever been involved with this production to whom I am not gratefully indebted to for their talent, devotion and support during the run of The Producers."

"This show is first and foremost a tribute to Broadway," added director/choreographer Susan Stroman. "I give my most heartfelt thank you to every performer, writer, designer, crewmember, musician, producer and the countless others who have made this show part of theater history. I can truly say that I have had the privilege of working with the best of Broadway. The sound of laughter is the greatest sound on earth, and I have been lucky enough to experience that sound every day for the last six years. But I consider myself luckiest for having had the chance to collaborate with the brilliant and spontaneous mind of Mel Brooks."

The Producers is the recipient of the most Tony Awards in theater history, with 12 wins: Best Musical, Best Director (Susan Stroman), Best Choreographer (Susan Stroman), Best Book (Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan), Best Original Score (Music and lyrics: Mel Brooks), Best Actor (Nathan Lane), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Gary Beach), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Cady Hoffman), Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Orchestrations.

The final performance cast features: John Treacy Egan (Max Bialystock), Hunter Foster (Leo Bloom), Lee Roy Reams (Roger DeBris), Brad Musgrove (Carmen Ghia), Bill Nolte (Franz Liebkind) and Angie Schworer (Ulla).

On opening night The Producers cast featured Nathan Lane, (Max Bialystock), Matthew Broderick (Leo Bloom), Gary Beach (Roger De Bris), Roger Bart (Carmen Ghia), Brad Oscar (Franz Liebkind) and Cady Huffman (Ulla). The musical is produced by Rocco Landesman, Live Nation, 'The Frankel, Baruch, Viertel and Routh Group', Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Rick Steiner, Robert F.X. Sillerman and Mel Brooks, in association with James D. Stern and Douglas Meyer and by special arrangement with StudioCanal.

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John Treacy Egan and Hunter Foster
close out the Broadway run