The Producers: smash hit musical comes to Brisbane Powerhouse

the producers altitude theatre
Image: Tyson Stuetz and costume designs by Madeleine Barlow

Undoubtedly one of the greatest musicals of all time, The Producers, presented by Altitude Theatre, comes to Brisbane Powerhouse this March. Written by comedic genius Mel Brooks, this big brassy show then went on to win a record twelve Tony Awards.

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Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan adapted The Producers from Brooks’ earlier film of the same name. Following its Broadway debut with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in the lead roles, the production went on to win a record twelve Tony Awards. Lane and Broderick later starred in a hit 2005 film version.

The musical tells the story of a failing producer and his accountant who think they devise a brilliant scam.

They will produce the worst musical ever to hit Broadway. They plan a production so bad it’s guaranteed to close on opening night. The pair will thus make their money from the investors rather than ticket sales.

1: Find the worst play ever written.
2: Hire the worst director in town.
3: Raise two million dollars. … One for me, one for you. There’s a lot of little old ladies out there!
4: Hire the worst actors in New York and open on Broadway and before you can say
5: Close on Broadway, take the two million, and go to Rio.

Springtime for Hitler

The pair choose a play called Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden. Chock full of Nazi propaganda, Springtime for Hitler is guaranteed to offend all races, creeds and religions. But the devilish plot backfires. The audience mistakes the production for satire.

Ben Brantley described the production in the New York Times as ‘a comic free-for-all’. It is a laugh-a-minute tour-de-force from a comic genius. Mel Brooks was the man behind such comic classics as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein. He was also a co-creator of television’s Get Smart.

Altitude Theatre

Altitude Theatre is a new music theatre company spearheaded by Brisbane’s own Joseph Simons and Adam Gardnir. The company aims to provide Queensland audiences with highly regarded, locally made, valuable music theatre experiences.

Executive Director Adam Gardnir said Brisbane is in for a real treat following the COVID inspired shuttering of live theatre productions.

“We’re back! And with such a fun show!

“The calibre of talent that we’ve been incredibly fortunate to assemble for this production is unparalleled.”

Artistic Director of Altitude Theatre and Director/Choreographer of The Producers Joseph Simons told QNews that this is the show that Brisbane wants right now.

“Following the challenges of 2020, people are eager to get out and celebrate with each other. They want to laugh and be entertained by astonishing artists. That’s exactly what The Producers offers. Trust me, The Producers is going to blow the roof off the Powerhouse Theatre!! This cast is sensational!”

The Costumes

the producers Altitude theatre
Some of the magnificent costume designs from Madeleine Barlow

Adam Gardnir gave QNews a sneak preview of Madeleine Barlow’s lavish costume designs. A NIDA graduate, Madeleine also spent nine months working in New York in 2019 on a cultural exchange program.

She began in theatre design back in 2014 at Toowoomba’s majestic art deco palace of live theatre — The Empire. There’s indeed a hint of art deco in Madeleine’s wonderful designs for The Producers.

The Producers cast

This all-new made-in-Queensland production stars local heroes Matt Young, Mark Hill and Rachael Ward. It features James Lee as Roger De Bris while Tyson Stuetz from the ensemble (main image) plays the role of an accountant, Nazi stormtrooper and jail inmate.

The Producers is the perfect antidote to a miserable year bereft of live theatre, joy and laughs. As Brisbane Powerhouse say on their website: Leave your prejudice at the door and prepare to laugh out loud with this fresh made-in-Queensland season of a musical icon!

the producers
Director Joseph Simons and the cast during a script read.

The Producers: Powerhouse Theatre. Thursday 4 – Saturday 13 March, 2021

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