Based on the 1968 film, Mel Brooks’s musical The Producers is a laugh-out-loud, outrageous, crowd-pleasing farce that has been a smash hit since its 2001 debut. Fading Broadway producer Max Bialystock is desperate to get to the top of his profession again, and he finds an unlikely ally in mousy accountant Leo Bloom, who hypothesizes that one could make far more money with a flop of a show than with a hit. Together, the two set out to produce the worst musical ever to hit Broadway, with the worst script, the worst director, and the worst cast they can find; the catch is that they will raise two million dollars to finance the show, and they plan to take the money and head to Rio when the show inevitably closes after just one performance. Too bad for Bialystock & Bloom that, against all odds, the show is a total hit! With dozens of big and bit parts alike, no shortage of show stopping musical numbers, and Brooks’ signature humor keeping audiences in stitches, The Producers is definitely far from a flop.
Nearly a year ago when Rob Burkel brought the idea of bringing The Producers to our stage, my first reaction was not exactly enthusiastic. But then I watched the DVD with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick again; I began to see the show in a more positive light, although I still wasn’t convinced. Rob brought the subject up again and I said I’d think about it some more. I finally called him back and said that I would direct if he would play Max and be my co-director. He agreed, although later he decided that being an “assistant director” might be more likely, since Max is on stage for most of the show!
This show has been a dream to work on—the cast is dedicated and so truly talented. When Brad Cook showed up after another cast member became ill, I knew Someone Up There likes me! The personalities throughout the cast are enchanting and such fun to work with. They respond to direction, plus they are just fun folks to hang around with. What a tremendous experience this has been.
Another joy associated with this production has been watching Rob Burkel’s son, Joseph, during rehearsals. Joe was born with Down syndrome and has limited speech. But that didn’t stop him from laughing, clapping, and shouting out “Bloom!” every so often during rehearsals. He adores this show and watching his talented father perform one of his favorite roles clearly meets his approval.
Community theater brings out so much good in those associated with it. Yes, the hours are long and the pay is lousy, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about bringing the very best out in people, gathering together and forming a community within a community, and bringing all that goodness back to the audience. Thanks to all who made this such a bright spot in my life—love to you all.
Director: Jane Anderson
Assistant Director: Rob Burkel
Vocal Director: Sherry Knott
Orchestra Director: Phil McKenzie
Costume Designer/Wardrobe Mistress: Andrea Thibert
Choreography: Amy Delap, Jane Anderson, Rob Burkel
Lighting/Sound Designer: John Thibert
Lighting Operator: Max Anderson
Set Designer/Construction: Don Schindler
Accompanist: Mandi Rodahl
Stage Manager: Steven Knott
Set Painting: Karen Jenson Members of the Cast & Crew
Back Stage Help: Kathy Olson, Wanda Nelson
Production Assistant: Emma Anderson
Publicity/Box Office/Gala Night: Jean Larson
Recognition Updated For Each Production
Brady, Martz & Associates, P.C.
Dr. Eloise-Marie Clark
Mark & Jean Larson
In Memory of Margaret Saetre
by William Saetre
Noper Charitable Trust
Panasonic Industrial Company
Joseph Haj Roger & JoAnn Thibert
Brodin Comfort Systems M
Dr. Earl & Melvine Dagg
Dr. Diane Drake
Jon & Celia Nelson
Roger & Bernice Skime
Jim & Jan Strandlie
Ole & Ruth Tweet
Dr. Tom & Judy Dimich
Elling & Joyce Iverson