Maryland Theatre Guide
The current production of “The Producers,” directed by Kristina Friedgen and choreographed by Stefan Sittig, is outstanding. Leo Bloom was played by Ryan Phillips, who told this reviewer he liked the nuances of Gene Wilder’s performance in the original 1968 film, but he liked the physical humor of Mathew Broderick’s performance in the 2005 Hollywood version of the musical. Mr. Phillips’ performance successfully captures the best of both portrayals.
DC Metro Theatre Arts
Funny Boy, a musical version of Hamlet, A Breaking Wind, She Schtups to Conquer–could anyone predict how much those fictional plays would wow audiences? The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s The Producers explores the challenges of putting on a hit. You can’t lose with this show: the book for this musical is by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, and Brooks wrote the music and lyrics. Colin Taylor provided music direction and conduction, and Stefan Sittig choreographed. Director Kristina Friedgen has directed a show that’s fun from start to finish.
In the official director’s notes for the show, Director Kristina Friedgen wrote that she hoped the show would inspire audiences “to laugh at ourselves more and allow others to laugh with us while we do that.”
Friedgen’s direction emphasizes this, as every character is successfully the butt of one joke or another, from the flamboyant Roger DeBris (Brian Lyons-Burke) to the flirtatious Ulla (Sirena Dib). No one gets out unscathed, and so nothing is taken too seriously.