When Hitler came on stage I nearly wet myself. I am torn between whether it was the bright rosy blush on his cheeks, the form fitting Third Reich uniform or his remarkable use of jazz hands.
The play’s poster advertised ‘The Producers” as “not suitable for viewers younger than 18.”
For some reason this did not faze me because I figured, “how lewd, or crude could this play be?”
By the end of the German hop-clop dance, a glorification of the Nazi invasion of Europe, I found myself wondering: was this uproarious laughter and applause from the mainly white crowd (and me) in support of the acting?
Or more frightening, were we laughing at the misery and downplaying the importance and horror of World War II?
Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” is a hilarious musical romp about how two screw-ups fail at failing.
The premise is supposed to be how these social pariahs-an out-of-shape, out-of-work producer who plays naughty games with little old ladies for their financial support, and a misfit unhappy accountant longing for “everything he sees in the movies,”-team up in a get rich quick scheme, and learn that their partnership and eventual friendship means more than the money.
However, the Tallahassee Little Theater’s production got everything right – except for the emphasis on Max Bialystock and Leopold Bloom’s budding friendship.
The comedic acting was phenomenal. The lead actors also had great singing voices.
My favorite number was “Keep it gay” by the drag queen/director/stand in Hitler/ Roger played by Robert Roberts, and his assistant/partner Carmen Ghia played by Lance McGee.
The number ended with Roger’s live-in creative team: an overweight set designer with dangerously short shorts, a drag queen costume designer in a neon pink blazer and blonde wig and a butch (think the ambiguous Pat from Saturday Night Live circa 1993) lighting director.
The play is filled with sexual innuendos, gestures and references to classic plays.
The crowd was filled with complete theater-heads. They got every joke and then some.