Springtime for Mel Brooks

The Producers nearly lives up to its New York hype.

The Producers often bows to other shows. You get a yearning, Fiddler on the Roof-style violin; moments from A Chorus Line; a rumpety-thump segment from Oliver; a lament from the depths that's reminiscent of Mac the Knife's prison song in The Threepenny Opera. None of the music is memorable, but it's skilled and clever.

In addition to Stadlen, Ruck, Reams and King, there are standout performances from Fred Applegate as the Hitler-loving Franz Liebkind (he has a wonderful number involving wing-swinging caged pigeons), Josh Prince as the over-the-top Carmen Ghia and Jerald Vincent as O'Houllihan.

Lewis J. Stadlen and Alan Ruck in The 
Lewis J. Stadlen and Alan Ruck in The Producers.


Presented by Denver Center Attractions through January 31 , 303-893-4100, www.denvercenter.org
Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets

Final verdict? The Producers is fun. I could imagine recommending it to friends, but I'll have no reason to. Everyone will be lining up for tickets just as they were for The Lion King -- based solely on the buzz from New York.

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