MUSICAL REVIEW: The Producers ★★★★
New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
22nd April 2015
Mel Brook's Musical 'The Producers' took Birmingham by storm in their week run at The New Alexandra Theatre, as they stop off on their tour of this hilarious musical about Love, Nazi's, but most importantly, the relationship between the producers themselves, Max and Leo.
The start of the show, 'Opening Night', really sets the atmosphere of the whole production, and introduces the characters perfectly. We see Max, a well known Broadway producer, see his new musical, Hamlet, flop, and causes him to lose his reputation. Then comes along Jason Manford as Leo, a man who quits his 9-5 job in the inspiration to become a producer himself, which leads him to team up with Max to produce a new musical, Springtime for Hitler.
Cory and Manford's chemistry on stage is fresh and edgy, they bounce off each perfectly and really seem to relish more when they have the audience on their side,a truly perfect pairing for a first time audience member like myself. But the chemistry becomes even more real with the addition of Ulla, played incredibly by Tiffany Graves, who's opening number is certainly an eye full. Along with the gent's, the trio's dynamic is hysterically funny, having myself the audience in constant fits of laughter.
Phill Jupitus is exquisite as Franz, as he introduces his pigeon's, his presence is really known on stage and he seems to really enjoy playing this wacky character to a packed house, and using as much energy as possible in every scene he's in.
It is the moment though that the characters of Roger and Carmen are introduced on stage that everything starts to really go wild. David Bedella's Roger is scene stealing, his overall presence on stage is the one that really drew all my attention, whilst Louie Spence is the perfect companion in Carmen, who seemed to live taking the mic out of his lisp, and took every spare moment to do a cartwheel or two.
Overall, The Producers is bold, bright and truly dazzling. The characters are thoroughly fine tuned, the sets are incredibly detailed, the ensemble really make the production fully so much bigger, and that's what makes all this a more a reason why this show is a must see for anyone who gets the chance to witness this musical gem.