Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s The Producers UK Tour 2015 Starring Jason Manford Review…..
It’s back! The greatest comedy musical in history – The Producers by Mel Brooks.
I saw it tonight at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham – playing through April 25th.
I have to confess that this is my favourite show on earth. I first saw it on Broadway with Nathan Lane & Mathew Broderick – it was remarkable and deserved its title as the most award winning musical in theatrical history.
Every word counts – it’s clever, beautifully crafted and the music and lyrics are up their with Porter, Rodgers, Hammerstein & Webber.
This brand new production has a stellar cast of Stars including Phill Jupitas, Louis Spence with Jason Manford taking the lead as Leo Bloom.
However, the true Star of this show is Cory English who nails the role of Max Bialystock and gives a Broadway standard performance throughout.
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The sound and orchestration for this production is truly excellent and some of the lighting is clever too.
They’ve not skimped on costumes and the choreography is spectacular at times.
I was disappointed at the set – compared to Wicked & Shrek (also currently on tour at the same price) it is at times shambolic and messy. It’s a great shame as the complexity of the script has previously been matched by the enormity of its surrounding (even on tour).
Nevertheless, this is a standing ovation inducing show with songs like ‘Betrayed’ and ‘We Can Do It’ lifting the roof.
The ensemble were faultless with their energy and drive throughout the show.
Based on Mel Brooks’ much loved Academy Award winning movie, The Producers is the hilarious musical comedy that has taken Broadway and the West End by storm, winning a record breaking 12 Tony Awards and 3 Olivier Awards.
Impoverished by a string of flops, New York producer Max Bialystock recruits timid accountant Leo Bloom to help him pull off Broadway’s greatest scam.
They aim to produce the worst show ever and run away with millions, but they soon learn that show business can always find a way to kick you in the teeth.
The script is a 5* master-class in musical comedy. Spectacular, hysterical with incredible songs & choreograph.
Louie Spence deserves kudos for brining true campery, fun and nonsense to the show delivering his role as Carmen Ghea to perfection.
Jason Manford offers a beautiful rendition of ‘That Face’ and proved he’s got huge talent. Sometimes however he allowed himself to vocally ‘show off’ leaving us in no doubt that he’s a belter – but sadly losing the vulnerability, insecurity & tenderness of Bloom. At times his power and almost operatic tone was incongruous to the character.
David Badella’s ‘Roger’ was certainly different to any I’ve seen before but as always delivered with precision and gusto.
Tiffany Graves is a true piece of work. Stunning visually and vocally – she can out-sing the entire cast put together and nailed the role of Ulla effortlessly.
The biggest Star though was Cory English who has boundless energy, incredible chops and the nearest thing I’ve ever seen to Nathan Lane level of performance in that role. Brilliant!
The Stars of the show….
Here are the dates for the limited run:
April 20-25: Birmingham, Alexandra Theatre
April 27 – May 2: Bristol Hippodrome
May 4-9: Belfast, Grand Opera House
May 11-16: Sunderland, Empire Theatre
May 18-23: Woking, New Victoria Theatre
May 25-30: Southampton, Mayflower Theatre
June 1-6: Liverpool, Empire Theatre
June 8-13: Leeds, Grand Theatre
June 15-20: Glasgow, Theatre Royal
June 22-27: Aberdeen, His Majesty’s Theatre
June 29 – July 4: Oxford, New Theatre
July 6-11: Dublin, Bord Gáis Theatre
Don’t miss The Producers on tour. It’s packed laughs, amazing songs and a terrific cast.
Checkout Jason and Alex Belfield’s interviews by searching ‘Manford’ in the top right hand corner search box.
For tickets – http://theproducersmusical.co.uk
Review by Alex Belfield at Celebrity Radio 21st April 2015.