Theater The Producers

Directed by Susan Strohman

Murat Theatre

Through Jan. 23 Bob Amaral and Andy Taylor in ‘The Producers’ So over the top you meet yourself laughing on the way down. So unlikely it’s believable. And on top of that, Mel Brooks blatantly stole from everyone and everything in show business. It could be sub-titled ‘name the theft’ and turned into a parlor game.

Twenty-seven cast members become a microsome of NYC. They swill over the imagined footlights as larger-than-life caricatures in four dimensions. Frenetic energy, sight gags, rubber faces, eyes and smiles so big Carol Channing is outdone. And keep your nose pointed at the dancing. Susan Strohman’s choreography is a history of steps and the great dancers who hoofed them.

On Indy’s opening night, swing cast member Joel Newsome delivered a flawless Leo Bloom, stepping in for Andy Taylor. For a guy with a 4-line acting bio, this is the stuff of dreams. He can go from dead-pan hysteria to romantic lover and you swear he’s not acting. Should we credit his training to our neighbor, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music? CCM is also the alma mater of Bill Nolte, whose Franz Liebkind chicken-in-the-cage scene is a show stopper, and of Tory Ross, a chorine whose horny old lady splits your sides. And, see if you can spot Butler grad Sarah Misiano in those luscious dance ensemble numbers.

Just in case someone missed the 2001 Tony Awards, The Producers is the story of a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer and a mousy accountant whose sure-to-lose scheme becomes a winner and their cooked books land them in the cooler.

For tickets call 231-0000. www.BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com.

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