Broadway has arrived in Brisbane with theatre returning to Brisbane Powerhouse with Altitude Theatre’s ‘The Producers’ the Musical. On opening night, the smash musical struck the comedic funny bone complete with a well-deserved standing ovation.
The show involves two musical producers who plot to make millions of dollars by falsely overselling profits in an inevitable Broadway dud. Difficulties occur when the show unpredictably becomes popular overnight. This production is absolutely comedy gold and focuses on a crazy bunch of characters with insane accents, show business motifs, Nazi innuendos, and the shenanigans you can have whilst putting on a show.
The incredibly talented Matt Young plays the desperate and conniving Max Bialystock. His character is a Broadway Producer that cannot catch a break with flop after flop open and close on the same weekend. Matt embodies the role splendidly and showcases his wonderful comedic timing and bounces off his scene partners like he was born to play this part. Particularly in the musical number ‘We can do it’ he belts out the song wonderfully as he convinces Leo Bloom his new accountant to scheme with him and produce a terrible musical. Matt takes this infamous role to new heights as he perfectly nails the long and challenging number ‘Betrayed’ as he recaps through the whole story thus far whilst in the jail cell and illustrates what a glorious performer he is.
Mark Hill is Leo Bloom in every sense of the character and his portrayal lights up the stage. Mark put his whole self into Leo, who has dreamed his whole life to become a Broadway Producer. When he is finally given the chance, he second guesses himself as he goes back to the Accounting firm. Mark then demonstrates his new-found courage as he gorgeously performs ‘I Wanna be a Producer’ with the hilarious accountants and Showgirls. Mark is brilliant in the way he innocently finds his feet in ‘We can do it (Reprise)’ then as they are introduced to actress Ulla at her audition, he goes weak at the knees and quickly sees her beauty.
Rachael Ward embraces her role as the Swedish performer Ulla with a hilarious and sultry demeanour. Her character speaks little English however that does not stop her from making it her own and belting her heart out in the number ‘When you got it, Flaunt it.’ Rachael is a sensational dancer with legs for days and keeps the audience laughing throughout the show. The way she goes along with Leo and Max’s hijinks is wonderful to watch and a true testament to her talent and work ethic. The relationship with Mark and Matt in the show forms a beautiful trio of hilarity and is joyous to watch.
James Lee is perfect as the lively and flamboyant theatre director Roger De Bris. The producers choose him to lead the helm of their ‘flop’ musical ‘Springtime for Hilter.’ James fabulously personifies the gay director gorgeously as he dons the wigs and floor-length gowns when they visit him in his lavish New York home. He shines in his first number ‘Keep it Gay’ as he introduces his production staff, he carries with him to every musical he directs. The song is filled with shirtless beauties and wonderous costumes. James steps up to the plate as he has to replace Franz as Hitler towards the end of the show and comes out Broadway style of course. The audience adores this character and with the sassy attitude from Roger’s chief assistant Carmen Ghia by his side played by the comedic Alex Watson.
Patrick Conolly as the Hilter obsessed Franz Liebkind is out of this world hilarious. From his cheeky German accent to his comical European dancing he is a standout in this production. The first time we see him he is practicing his turn as Hilter in his play ‘Springtime for Hilter’ and teaches Max and Leo the infamous ‘Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop’ song and dance. The producers are fully convinced he is an insane person however they play along to keep him on board to guarantee they are the worst reviewed show in town. Patrick holds on to the humour throughout the entirety of the show all the way up to him breaking his leg and realising he cannot be in the show. He has an exciting career ahead of him with his wonderful comedic timing and upbeat persona.
Altitude Theatre’s production of The Producers at Brisbane Powerhouse is what everyone needs right now as we venture back into fulltime live performance in Brisbane. The whole show is a gas with belly-laughs, hilarious political puns, a shining ensemble with exploding talent, characters that created a mischievous 1950s New York that keeps a smile on the audiences face and musical numbers that leave you wanting more. This show is not one to miss.
The Producers Musical
Thu 4 – Sun 14 Mar, 2021