PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera presents the Tony Award-winning hit musical "The Producers," currently running through July 18 at the Benedum Center.
Based on Mel Brooks' Academy Award-winning film, "The Producers" is the story of down-on-his-luck producer Max Bialystock, his amusingly awkward accountant Leo Bloom and their "sure-fire" scheme to get rich quick.
The plan? To raise more money than they need to mount a guaranteed Broadway flop - "Springtime for Hitler" - and head to Rio with the cash when the curtain comes crashing down.
Jim Stanek as Leo Bloom, left, and John Treacy Egan as Max Bialystock star in the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera’s adaptation of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers,” currently running through July 18 at the Benedum Center. — Contributed
This musical guilty pleasure won a record 12 Tony Awards and includes the hits "I Wanna Be a Producer," "Where Did We Go Right?" and "Til Him."
"The Producers" began as a 1968 comedy film written and directed by Mel Brooks. It was the first film directed by Brooks.
A friend of Brooks persuaded him to turn his movie into a stage musical.
Brooks then asked Thomas Meehan to join him in writing the book for the stage.
The original production opened at the St. James Theatre on April 19, 2001, and ran for 2,502 performances, closing on April 22, 2007. The show originally starred Nathan Lane as Max Bialystock and Matthew Broderick as Leo Bloom. It won 12 Tony awards, breaking the record held for 37 years by "Hello, Dolly!," which had won 10.
At the 2001 Tony Awards "The Producers" won 12 out of the 15 nominations it received, becoming one of the few musicals to win in every category for which it was nominated (it received two nominations in the category for leading actor and three in the category for featured actor).
Currently "The Producers" ties with "Billy Elliot - the Musical" for the most nominations ever received by a single show.
The production spawned a successful London production, running for three years, and national tours. Beginning in September 2002 there were two touring companies that played 74 cities in the U.S., grossing more than $214 million.
In 2005, the musical was adapted into a musical film, becoming a movie based on a musical based on a movie about a musical. It starred most of the original Broadway cast in addition to celebrity actors Will Ferrell and Uma Thurman.
Since it's opening on Broadway "The Producers" has also been presented professionally in many cities around the world, including Toronto, Berlin, Sydney, Seoul, Toyko, Copenhagen, Milan, Budapest, Madrid, Mexico City, Prague, Vienna, Athens, Portugal and Moscow, and has been translated into more than 15 different languages.
Tickets begin at $26.50 and are available at www.pittsburghCLO.org; by calling (412) 456-6666; or at the box office at Theater Square.