Friday, December 08, 2006

A Producers Production

5. Saw The Producers. Infectious.

Broadway’s an odd bird. My dad and I recently saw The Producers at the St James Theatre. Now, normally I don’t go see Broadway musicals, mainly because I don’t have the money—but also because I think they’re often a bit kitschy and dumb.

Perhaps I’m being a curmudgeon. And I felt like a curmudgeon when, at the theater that Saturday night, I sat through the opening of the first act—which contains a scene wherein the guy playing Leo Bloom pulls out a “blankey” and coos and talks to it, comforting himself, while the guy playing Max Bialystock mimics him—and thought it all over-silly and childish.

Curmudgeon: I cop to it.

Part of the problem, I think, was that the men playing Max and Leo—John Treacy Egan and Hunter Foster—were clearly playing Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick’s version of the characters, rather than playing their own take on them. I suppose this is a common problem when two big-name stars “break” a Broadway musical; you couldn’t kill to get a ticket to the show when Lane and Broderick were in it, so it stands to reason that Egan and Foster would feel somewhat overwhelmed by playing in the shadow of those two.

But then it picked up. Partly this was due to the sheer ridiculousness and over-the-top bad taste of the musical-within-a-musical, Springtime for Hitler—which is really something to be seen—but also, I think, my cold black heart was warmed a bit by the obvious fun everyone on stage (and in the audience) was having. Singing idiot (though extremely catchy; I was tapping my feet throughout) songs and dancing around like a lunatic is hard not to enjoy, unless you’re a too-serious curmudgeon at heart like me.

Fin.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now and I would just like to thank you for contributing to my "word power". Usually i pull up two tabs on Firefox...a tab with your blog and a tab with M-W.com. I agree with a comment Paulo made a while back "I wish I could use your words", not necessarily to write about Antarctica, but just in general.

Hunter Slaton said...

Glad to be of service, anonymous "word power" commenter. Keep reading & tell yr. friends.