PDA

View Full Version : 'Producers' to close; Hasselhoff mentioned



Gregory
02-23-2007, 07:30 AM
Springtime for Hit’s End: ‘The Producers’ to Close
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON

They had a great big Broadway smash, and their pockets are unquestionably stuffed with cash, and now the producers of “The Producers,” the Broadway musical that broke a batch of records and changed the business, are calling it a day.

The musical, based on Mel Brooks’s 1968 movie about two wily Broadway producers who cook up a scheme to cash in on a megaflop, will play its final performance on Sunday, April 22, six years and three days after it opened at Broadway’s St. James Theater, according to a statement released yesterday by the production. That translates to 33 previews and 2,502 regular performances.

“The Producers” opened with Susan Stroman at the helm as director and choreographer; a cast that included Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Gary Beach, Cady Huffman and Roger Bart; and a generous schmear of buzz. The reviews were full of superlatives, and the day after the opening, tickets were sold to the tune of $3.3 million, a record at the time for one-day sales (a record the show would break in 2003).

The musical dominated the 2001 Tony Awards, setting the record for most nominations with 15, then setting the record for most awards with 12, including best musical, score, book (by Mr. Brooks and Thomas Meehan), director and actor (Mr. Lane) and all the musical design awards.

Other precedents established by “The Producers” have had a lasting influence on the way Broadway works. The day after it opened, the production began charging $100 for orchestra seats, the first open-ended commercial run to do so regularly. And six months later the producers began setting aside seats at every performance and charging $480 each for them, inventing the now-standard premium ticket.

The show had recouped its $10.5 million investment less than eight months after opening.

On Broadway, the show to date has grossed $283 million. Two national tours went out, playing 74 cities. There are productions running in eight countries, plus one in Las Vegas featuring David Hasselhoff. The show has grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, according to the producers, a group that includes Rocco Landesman, president of Jujamcyn Theaters; Live Nation; the Frankel/Baruch/Viertel/Routh Group; Bob and Harvey Weinstein; Robert F. X. Sillerman, chief executive of the entertainment company CKX; and Mr. Brooks.

With all that going for it, one might have expected a show like this to run on Broadway forever, give or take a few days. But “The Producers” began to lose steam several years into the run, and in the past few months the grosses have dwindled. When the show closes, it will be the 18th-longest-running show in Broadway history.

In 2005 Universal released a movie of the musical, with Ms. Stroman directing and Mr. Lane and Mr. Broderick reprising their roles as Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, but it flopped.

Casting was a problem in the Broadway production after the departure of the extraordinarily successful comic team of Lane and Broderick: Mr. Lane’s immediate successor, the British actor Henry Goodman, was replaced after only 30 performances.

Mr. Lane and Mr. Broderick returned in December 2003 for a 14-week engagement at $100,000 each a week, and the production immediately set another record for highest weekly take. The recent hope on the producers’ part has been that the duo would come back for a victory lap, and they were reportedly offered a deal that was quite a bit heftier than the previous one.

But a person involved with the production said that the lead actors in the final six weeks would probably be chosen from the current company or from a roster of previous Maxes and Leos. The current leads, Tony Danza and Hunter Foster, will be departing as scheduled on March 11.

Mr. Brooks, however, is not leaving the building. The next scheduled tenant at the St. James will be a musical adaptation of his 1974 movie, “Young Frankenstein,” scheduled to open this fall. Ms. Stroman is back to direct, Mr. Meehan is working with Mr. Brooks on the book, and the readings have been star-studded.

But while there was a diverse and rather sizable team of producers for “The Producers,” Mr. Brooks is this time joining up with only one other person, Mr. Sillerman. Ven you got it, despite what Ulla the Swedish bombshell might say, it is sometimes a good idea to keep it to yourself.

Taxman
02-23-2007, 07:31 AM
I was sure the Vegas show was closing based on the thread title. :lol:

sonnylarue
02-23-2007, 07:31 AM
My buddy just saw the Hoff show in vegas.

he said it was apropriatley bad.

Shane W
02-23-2007, 07:33 AM
Did they have to change a characters name to Tony for Danza to take a part?

DAVE
02-23-2007, 07:36 AM
David Hasselhoff has accomplished what Larry David could not. He has killed The Producers. :twisted:

Gregory
02-23-2007, 07:37 AM
Did they have to change a characters name to Tony for Danza to take a part?

No, but they did have to change some dialogue because Tony is skinnier than the previous Max actors. The Times noted that this killed some humor.

Taxman
02-23-2007, 07:38 AM
My buddy just saw the Hoff show in vegas.

he said it was apropriatley bad.
I want to see the show. I'd be much more enthused about it with a no-name lead than with the Hoff.