Moonlight Stage Productions opens its 39th summer season with the hit show that has won more Tony Awards than any other musical. Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” comes to the Moonlight Amphitheatre for the first time June 12 to June 29 at 8 p.m.
Featuring the Broadway national tour sets and costumes, this comedic masterpiece is based on Mel Brooks’ 1968 film of the same name. Washed-up Broadway producer Max Bialystock and his mild-mannered accountant, Leo Bloom, scheme to get rich quick by producing the most notorious flop in Broadway history, “Springtime for Hitler.” Their plot quickly goes awry when their show becomes the toast of Broadway which lands them in hot water. “The Producers” is a comedic tour-de-force spoofing the big, old-fashioned Broadway musicals while paying tribute to them. The musical went on to win a record-setting twelve Tony Awards in 2001, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Musical Score. The score includes such hits as “I Wanna Be a Producer,” “When You Got It, Flaunt It,” “Springtime for Hitler,” and “Prisoners of Love.”
Starring in the Moonlight production are two Broadway veterans who reunite on stage after their comedic romps in Moonlight’s 2013 “Young Frankenstein,” Mel Brooks’ other hit musical. As Max Bialystock, the Moonlight welcomes back Jamie Torcellini, whose Broadway credits include “Cats,” “Little Johnny Jones,” “Me and My Girl,” “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway,” “The Man of La Mancha,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and the original company of “Billy Elliot.” His Moonlight roles include Bill Snibson in “Me and My Girl,” Patsy in “Spamalot,” and Doolittle in “My Fair Lady.”
Returning to the shoes of Leo Bloom will be Larry Raben, also the show’s director. Raben starred as Leo Bloom on Broadway and in the entire one-year-run in Las Vegas in 2007-2008. At The Moonlight, Raben helmed 2018’s hit Disney musical “Newsies,” and prior to that directed “Sunset Boulevard,” “Titanic,” and “Catch Me If You Can.” Raben and Torcellini chewed the scenery in Moonlight’s “Young Frankenstein” when Raben starred as Frederick with Torcellini as Igor. The pair received rave critical reviews.
Also featured in “The Producers” are Josh Adamson (Moonlight’s “Catch Me If You Can” and “Big Fish”) as flamboyant choreographer Roger DeBris. After appearing in Moonlight’s 2018 production of “Chicago” as Mary Sunshine, Luke Harvey Jacobs returns as Franz Liebkind, the playwright of “Springtime for Hitler.” As Carmen Ghia, Roger DeBris’ bizarre manservant, is Max Cadillac (Moonlight’s “Big Fish,” “The Music Man,” and “The Wizard of Oz”). Making her Moonlight debut as Ulla, the sexy, Swedish secretary of Max and Leo is Katie Barna. She comes to Moonlight after working with Music Theatre Wichita (“Big Fish” and “Hello, Dolly!”) and Music Theatre West (“Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “Catch Me If You Can”).
Rounding out the cast are Ellie Barrett, Nichole Beeks, Lucas Blankenhorn, Jake Bradford, Gerilyn Brault, Morgan Carberry, Matt Carvin, Brianna Cook, Deborah Fauerbach, Johnny Fletcher, Karla J. Franko, Devon Hunt, Brandon Taylor Jones, Samantha Roper, Simoné Sassudelli, and Andrea Williams.
Joining Raben on the creative team are Choreographer Karl Warden, Music Director and Conductor Lyndon Pugeda, Lighting Designer Jennifer Edwards, Sound Designer Jim Zadai, Costumers Carlotta Malone, Roz Lehman, and Renetta Lloyd, and Stage Manager Stanley D. Cohen.
“The Producers” features a book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, music and lyrics by Mel Brooks. The Moonlight recommends “The Producers” for mature audiences only.
Tickets for Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” range $17 – $57 and are on sale now online at moonlightstage.com, through VisTix at (760) 724-2110 or in person at VisTix. The 39th season continues with Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” (July 17 – August 3), “West Side Story” (August 14 – 31), and “Victor/Victoria” (September 11 – 28). The 2020 season of Moonlight Stage Productions, the theatre’s 40th anniversary, will be announced June 12.
For more information, visit moonlightstage.com or call (760) 724-2110.