Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown Presents: “The Producers”

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Article Contributed by
Stephanie McCraw

Imagine a washed-up musical producer setting out to create a production with the worst script and the worst actors just to get rich, and accidentally making a smash hit. In the Broadway musical, “The Producers,” once-successful Producer Max Bialystock and his accountant Leo Bloom are struggling to come up with a hit show and want to make money. They conclude the best option would be to make a total flop and run away with the investment money, with no one being the wiser to their scheme. When “Springtime for Hitler” surprises them by becoming popular, their plan to take the money raised and leave for Rio backfires.

Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown is presenting the musical under the Artistic Direction of Todd Pullan. “The Producers” is a best-selling Tony Award winning musical, some have said the biggest hit in Broadway history, and was based on a 1968 film by Mel Brooks. It’s a satirical comedy that pokes fun at people in show business, Nazi’s, and plenty of others, creating hilarious caricatures for a mature crowd.

This type of eighteen and over comedy with outrageous and often cringe-worthy moments can spark emotion in audience members. One of Pullan’s favorite scenes is a dance number called “Along Came Bialy” where twenty-two older women dance on stage with their walkers, poking fun at character Max’s penchant for finding lurid ways to raise money for his shows. “Community Theater is supposed to spark emotion, even if it’s something you don’t necessarily want to feel” says Pullan, and it’s one of the reasons he’s happy to take on the role of Director.

Another reason to put in the hours behind the scenes listening to auditions, conducting nightly rehearsals, and planning sets, is the chance to let members of the community shine. “Finding a gem is why I like to do community theater,” Pullan explained. He said cast-member Zuleika Espinol, who plays an Usherette, knew she enjoyed singing but never previously auditioned or had experience in theater. “She sings beautifully, she dances beautifully, and she’s doing great” he said.

The show is set in 1959 New York City and features a sizeable cast and plenty of musical numbers. The satire involved is Max and Leo picking out a script that is intended to completely offend absolutely everyone- but the combination of a terrible script and even worse actors make something so bad, people love it.

“The Producers” has showings on September 27th, 28th and October 4th, 5th at 7:30PM September 29th and October 6th at 2:00PM

Tickets can be purchased at regular box office hours: 11:30AM to 4:30PM or Show box office hours September 23rd to September 27th and September 30th to October 4th, 9am to 6pm. 716-483-1095