Nobody could ever claim that The Producers is a musical that is lacking energy. Regardless of whether you consider Adolf Hitler dancing around the stage in tight black lederhosen to be uncomfortable, it is without a doubt, entertaining at least. The Producers tells the tale of two producers who try to make a fortune by putting on a flop musical. Mel Brooks' movie masterpiece which was adapted to the stage in 2001 received rave reviews and I can certainly say that the same will happen again based on St. Augustine's MTC's production at The Core Theatre, Solihull.
Leading the way with relative ease, a convincing John Morrison played Max Bialystock with all of the quick bursts of a changing personality when he's not getting his way. Max is such a difficult part to act, let alone sing but John delivered when expectations were so high. His performances of The King of Broadway and Betrayed! were excellent. Matching John every step of the way was the lovable Leo Bloom. Richard Perks plays the nervous bumbling accountant who wanders into Max's life and decides that he too wants to be a Broadway producer. Richard gives a touching performance throughout, with particular stand out performances of I Wanna Be A Producer and 'Til Him. The pair bounce off each other with their quick timing and rapport. An excellent partnership that is bound to get even better as the run continues.
Very strong performances from both Nicki Willetts and Nick Salter who played Ulla Inga Hansen Benson Yonsen Tallen-Hallen Svaden-Svanson and Franz Liebkind respectively; both singing their individual numbers with power and full of charisma. A couple of other stand-out performances from Mike Bentley as Roger De Bris/Hitler, but I won't tell you why, you'll have to see for yourself, and to Daniel Morris who demonstrated excellent vocals. The orchestra were fantastic throughout, expertly led by Musical Director Stephen Powell. The ovation received at the end of the show was well deserved.
Plus a quick mention for Stage Manager Tony Walsh and his crew. You would usually allow for a few mishaps with set changes as it's opening night but his team were slick and on point so congratulations to you all backstage. The show cannot go on without you.
A really great musical about a really awful one runs until Saturday 24th November.
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