Brooks Compares Producers Opening to Bancroft!??
Date: 10 November 2004
Show creator Mel Brooks joined the cast of The Producers for the curtain call at last night’s West End premiere at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Looking out at across the star-studded capacity audience, who gave the risqué musical comedy a rapturous standing ovation, he remarked: “so much for British reserve. Brooks went on to thank London as well as his company – “this is cast worth paying they’re so damn good” – with a special mention for Broadway star Nathan Lane who stepped in at the last minute last month to replace Hollywood’s Richard Dreyfuss, originally cast as Max Bialystock in London. Brooks also praised the “vision and talent” of director Susan Stroman as well as his book writer Thomas Meehan, introducing Meehan as “his partner” before quickly clarifying that “we’re straight”. Should anyone question his sexuality, Brooks assured, “Anne Bancroft (who he married in 1964) will tell you I’m straight”. He later returned to the theme, saying “This is one of the best nights of my life. Of course, my first night with Anne was very good, too.” The Producers is based on Brooks' 1968 film classic and revolves around washed-up theatre producer Bialystock who, with his timid accountant Leo Bloom, cooks up a scheme to make a fortune by presenting a sure-fire flop called "Springtime for Hitler". It opened on Broadway in 2001 and went on to win 12 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Actor in a Musical for Lane.
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