The trend is to convertmovies into stage musicals
, butThe Producers
goes a step further: making a feature film of the smash-hitstage musical
that was adapted from the1968 film
. The chief drawing card, of course, is Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick reprising their roles from the stage. Lane plays Max Bialystock, a legendary Broadway producer who hasn't had a hit show in a long time. Enter nebbish accountant Leo Bloom (Broderick), who tells Bialystock he could actually make more money with a flop than a hit. So the two set out to produce the worst Broadway musical of all time, one guaranteed to close on opening night, with the collaboration of an outrageous cast of characters: Will Ferrell as sieg heil-ing author Franz Liebkind, Uma Thurman as Swedish bombshell Ulla, Gary Beach as director Roger De Bris, and Roger Bart as his assistant, Carmen Ghia, among others.
As directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman (who did the same honors on Broadway) and co-written by Mel Brooks, The Producers is laugh-out-loud funny. It's also a relentlessly over-the-top, shamelessly bawdy, stereotype-ridden comedy that may turn off its audience just as much as its centerpiece, Springtime for Hitler, was intended to. But Broadway fans who are used to larger-than-life figures who play to the back row while showering the first row with spit, are likely to forgive and just enjoy the famous granny-walker dance, a supporting cast dotted with Broadway performers (playing a taxi driver is Brad ...