Dreyfuss & Evans Confirm for UK Producers in NovDate: 17 December 2003
As previously tipped (See The Goss, 9 Dec 2003), Hollywood star Richard Dreyfuss and British comedian Lee Evans will star in the long-overdue transfer of Mel Brooks' hit Broadway musical The Producers. Although exact dates are still being finalised, the UK premiere production is due to open at the West End's Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 9 November 2004, following previews from 22 October.
Based on Brooks' 1968 film classic and set in New York in 1959, the musical comedy revolves around washed-up theatre producer Max Bialystock (Dreyfuss) who, with his timid accountant Leo Bloom (Evans), cooks up a scheme to make a fortune by presenting a sure-fire flop called "Springtime for Hitler".
The Producers opened on Broadway in 2001 and, with its original stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, who've just returned for a limited engagement, went on to become the hottest, and most expensive, ticket in town and sweep the board at that year's Tony Awards, scooping 12 prizes including Best Musical. It's directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman.
Dreyfuss made his West End debut in the 1999 production of Neil Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue, while on Broadway his credits include Death and the Maiden. He's most famous for his many films such as Down and Out in Beverley Hills, Mr Holland's Opus, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws and The Goodbye Girl, for which he won an Academy Award at the age of 29, the youngest actor ever to win the Best Actor category.
Evans is popular for his stand-up comedy as well as for his film appearances in the likes of There's Something About Mary and Mouse Hunt. Ahead of The Producers, he will star, opposite Michael Gambon, in the upcoming West End revival of Samuel Beckett's Endgame. The play will have a limited season, from February to May 2004, at the Albery Theatre (See News, 15 Dec 2003).
Currently at the Drury Lane, Trevor Nunn's Olivier Award-winning revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes is now booking up to 29 May 2004 (See News, 28 Nov 2003).
NOTE: Booking has not yet opened for this production.
- by Terri Paddock