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Jason Simon, left, is Max Bialystock and Austin Owen is Leo Bloom in the Tony Award-winning musical 'The Producers.'
Courtesy photo
Jason Simon, left, is Max Bialystock and Austin Owen is Leo Bloom in the Tony Award-winning musical "The Producers."

'The Producers'
Mel Brooks' riotous musical
comedy coming to Huntsville

By Barry Sublett
bsublett@decaturdaily.com 340-2448

What do you get when you put a Broadway producer known for shows that flop and a nerdy accountant together?

The biggest Tony Award winner in Broadway history.

Mel Brooks' musical comedy "The Producers" is coming to Huntsville for five shows beginning Jan. 12. It is part of the Broadway Theater League season.

It is the riotous, sometimes bawdy, parody-laden story of Max Bialystock, a down-on-his-luck theatrical producer and his accountant, a wimpy accountant. They scheme to make a fortune by getting a group of investors (little old ladies with bottomless bank accounts) whom Max sweet talks into putting up money for a new musical. They plan to produce one so bad that it will flop on opening night, ensuring they'll never have to pay back a penny to their investors.

Max Bialystock (in center) is known in theater circles as the producer whose shows close after opening night.
Courtesy photo
Max Bialystock (in center) is known in theater circles as the producer whose shows close after opening night.
After scouring hundreds of submissions, lunatic Nazi Franz Liebkind's "Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden," is deemed the worst of the worst.

And gay it will be, especially when the duo persuade Roger de Bris, Broadway's worst director (who has a penchant for dressing in women's clothing), to direct the musical.

With the worst producer, worst director and worst-ever story, how can their scheme fail?

When critics call it a "satirical masterpiece," "a surprise smash" and "the best musical of the decade."

BTL Executive Director Andrew Willmon says the musical is so ridiculous that it's hysterical. "It's Mel Brooks. 'The Producers' is the funniest, most fearlessly irreverent thing ever seen on stage," he said.

The musical won 12 Tonys in 2001, including best musical, best actor (Nathan Lane as Max) and best director (Susan Stroman). If you go

What:"The Producers"

When:Jan. 12, 8 p.m.; Jan. 13, 2 and 8 p.m.; and Jan. 14, 2 and 7 p.m.

When: Von Braun Center, Huntsville

Tickets:$28-$51, depending on performance and seating location. Call 518-6155.

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