HOW DO YOU top Zero Mostel & Gene Wilder? Or for that matter, Nathan Lane & Matthew Broderick? Mostel and Wilder were (in this reviewer's humble opinion) in one of the funniest movies ever made, The Producers (1968). It is therefore, unfair to compare the musical comedy, "Mel Brooks' The Producers" appearing at Paris Las Vegas, to the original movie…

I realize one was a movie where scenes can be edited and remade over and over till near perfection, while in a play, however, what you see is what you get—no stopping in the middle of an act to do a retake. I must note, that timing, which is so very important in a play, is just about "down pat" in this Susan Stroman choreographed and directed performance.

Beginning with the opening scene, "Opening Night" (which led me to think of the number as "Fiddler meets Broadway") is a quick-paced adventure of song and dance mixed with cons and disheartened remorse. All this, of course, is to be viewed with an open mind, while not trying to compare it to its legendary predecessor.

The Paris production will never fulfill the intention of the play itself, which is to "be a flop and close before opening night is over." In spite of, I might add, the miscasting of star David Hasselhoff (this reviewers' sentiment, at any rate).

The efforts of Brad Oscar, as the not so humble but loveable Max Bialystock ("The King of Broadway") and of the one-time humble Leo Bloom, performed by Larry Raben, plus never to be forgotten Ulla "uh la la," seductively portrayed by Leigh Zimmerman and the underrated achievement of Fred Applegate (Franz Liebkind) the kinky scribe of the "sure to close play,"make for an enjoyable evening to be had by all.

Reviewed by:

Frank Marino

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