Theatre Review: The Producers

This Mel Brooks musical has some very funny dialogue, ridiculous situations and outlandish characters

Presented by Marie Clark Musical Theatre
Reviewed 17 July 2021

This Mel Brooks musical has some very funny dialogue, ridiculous situations and outlandish characters: the Marie Clark Musical Theatre production doesn’t do them all justice.  Choreographer Mike Lapot, with assistant Celeste Barone, made the most of a cast with few dancers, managing to focus attention on the right spots. Director Matt Smith was working with a difficult set which made for clunky scene changes and limited movement. Musical Director Serena Cann had some good singers to work with and produced some musical highlights.

Sam Davy seemed a little unsure in his first lead role and lost volume occasionally but did well with his characterisation, although he could do with a little more rise and fall in his delivery. Kristian Latella developed nicely through the production, growing in confidence as the character should. The song ‘Til Him was a high spot for both. Lucy Trewin as Ulla characterised very well but was hampered by not being the iconic blonde bombshell the script demands. This caused problems for the two leads making it harder for them to react as the writer intended. The show came alive with the introduction of Angus Smith as Franz in his lederhosen, a role he has played before and one he obviously relishes (as does the audience). In Old Bavaria (with a pigeon chorus) and Have You Ever Heard the German Band brought much humour.

The stage was owned by Barry Hill every time he appeared as Roger, excessively camp and hilarious, with his sidekick Carmen, played by a beautifully mincing Ben Todd. From Keep It Gay to Springtime For Hitler the crowd loved the camp – those moments lifted the show. There was some strong chorus work; the Little Old Ladies were good, the stormtroopers and the prisoners all gave a good ensemble performance. So, despite a few flaws the overall production leaves a good feeling, just like any Mel Brooks musical should.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Arts Theatre
Season: 16-17-21-24 July
Duration: 2.5 hours (including a 20 min interval)
Tickets: $33 – $38

Bookings: Tickets available via TryBooking: https://www.trybooking.com/BPEKP or call MCMT’s Ticket Secretary on 08 8251 3926

Photo Credit: Andy Trimmings

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