‘The Producers’ at Hillbarn a winner

Perhaps the greatest compliment one can give this production of the Tony Award-winning musical is that one forgets that it's “community theatre."

In Review

The Producers

4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars - 'Smashing'
Directed by Bill Starr
Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks
Book by Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan
May 3, 2012 thru May 27, 2012
Website: www.hillbarntheatre.org
Review by

Mel Brooks’ The Producers is a hilarious – albeit shameless and decidedly politically incorrect –  backstage send up that doesn’t miss an opportunity to exploit every comic stereotype imaginable. Unless you’re easily offended, however, one can’t fathom how anyone would take serious umbrage.

Perhaps the greatest compliment one can give Hillbarn Theatre’s production of the Tony Award-winning musical is that one forgets that it’s “community theatre.”

Inspired and spectacular design elements across-the-board serve to amplify the lunacy, enhanced by visionary staging, casting and direction by the inimitable Bill Starr (aided immeasurably by choreographer Gary Stanford, Jr.).

The entire company of players is uniformly strong, with the principle cast among the best comedic ensembles I’ve seen in years, including Dan Demers (Max Bialystock), Luke Chapman (Leo Bloom), Kate Paul (Ulla), Ron Lopez, Jr. (Franz Liebkind), Raymond J. Mendonca (Roger DeBris), and Greg Lynch (Carmen Ghia).

Although the thrust stage venue does not have a bad seat in the house, it does not provide the best configuration for this type of show. It did not, however, in any way diminish the enthusiasm of the opening night crowd who literally leapt out of their seats with an unbridled standing ovation.

Head on down to Foster City to catch this must-see performance before it’s too late.

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Despite living in the South Bay, Greg’s heart remains in his hometown of San Francisco. When he’s not spending time attending local theatre, art exhibitions or the cinema, he practices law in San Jose. He likes to think of himself not as a “critic” but as an unabashed fan of the performing arts with an opinion that, he hopes, is worth sharing. His reviews can also be read at bayareacritic-at-large.blogspot.com which covers theatre venues throughout the Bay Area.