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.