The Placer Performance Calendar


Great Local Shows - Theatrical Reviews

Title The Producers
Organization Sutter Street Theatre
Date(s) of show August 10 - September 9, 2012
Reviewer Dick Frantzreb
Review The Producers ran for 6 years on Broadway with 2,502 performances, so thereís no question it is a good show: the plot is engaging, the music makes for good listening, and the writing is witty. But this musical about two oddly matched Broadway producers trying to create a show that is sure to flop succeeds because of the extraordinary array of local talent it showcases. It is wildly funny, with over-the-top, outrageous humor. And chief among the on-stage lunatics is Kevin Caravalho as Max Bialystock, the jaded producer: radiating energy, singing powerfully, and acting with creative intensity every minute heís on stage. And Caravalho is well paired with Aaron Boyer as Leo Bloom, the timid accountant who becomes Maxís partner, and who is convincing and delightful in this comic role. Then there is Ryan Adame who has performed brilliantly in so many local productions, and once again creates a memorable comic persona in Roger, the director. And letís not overlook Jacob Goodyear as Rogerís preposterously flamboyant assistant, and Dennis Curry, as Franz, the Hitler-o-phile, whose imposing presence, big voice, and credible German accent make his improbable character believable. But itís a pity to single out individual cast members because I could see each person in this show giving their all, and embracing with abandon their role (and they all played many roles) in this theatrical mayhem. I have to add, though, that one of Brady Taitís many characters made me laugh harder than I have in years Ė and I mean years.
Beyond the individual acting talents, there is so much more that makes this offering of The Producers so entertaining. Connie Mockenhaupt outdoes herself as director and choreographer with wonderfully humorous and creative touches and dance routines. Chris Schlagel plays the piano accompaniment masterfully throughout, and no doubt is largely responsible for the fact that the singing Ė including the ensemble singing -- is so consistently good. And Eileen Beaverís costuming is nothing short of amazing for a production on this scale. She puts together so many character-appropriate, quality costumes. And Rogerís entrance in drag is stunning: Iíve seen it, and I can attest that Roger does, indeed, look like the Chrysler Building Ė as he laments.

This hilariously funny production is intense entertainment from beginning to end. I consider it adult fare, so leave the little ones and early teens at home. But come yourself. It is a manic, tour de force that is likely to attract numerous Elly nominations and awards, and it is not to be missed.

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