May River Theatre Co. to present 'The Producers'

jpaprocki@islandpacket.comAugust 8, 2012 

  • "The Producers" will run at 8 p.m. Aug. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25 and 3 p.m. Aug. 12, 19 and 26. Tickets are $20 each. May River Theatre Co. performs at Ulmer Auditorium in Bluffton Town Hall at the corner of Pritchard and Bridge streets.

    Details: 843-815-5581,

Be warned: "The Producers" might be a bit politically incorrect, to put it lightly. In case you haven't heard of the Broadway smash, it deals in everything from innuendo to outright outrageousness. It has a song called "Springtime for Hitler," for goodness sake.

Keep in mind that it's all tongue-in-cheek, and the Nazi jokes will go down surprising well, so much so that the original Broadway run was one of the most successful ever.

The May River Theatre Co. will put its spin on the musical starting Friday.

The show, based on Mel Brooks' movie, follows two theatrical producers who conjure a scam to get rich off a bad musical. The original Broadway run lasted more than 2,000 shows and won a record 12 Tonys. The 2005 movie starred Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in their original roles as the producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, respectively.

Director and May River co-founder Jodie Dupuis saw it in New York City and put it on her to-do list.

"I loved it," she said. "I couldn't stop laughing."

The cast should be familiar to May Theatre regulars. "The Producers" marks the third time Chad Hsu of Savannah and Pete Zeleznik of Hilton Head Island have starred opposite each other.

"The whole cast has a pretty good chemistry," said Hsu, who plays Leo. "You need it in a production like this."

Zeleznik watched the movie to get ideas from Nathan Lane's portrayal of Max.

"Max is such an outrageous character, but (Lane) plays it so subtly," he said. "It's a tough mix to stay in the background so often yet still stand out."

The production is fairly ambitious for a small theater, with its scene changes and intricate set pieces. But it all starts with the original material, which is good enough to stand on its own, the actors say.

"I think you could just read a script on stage and get some laughs," said Kelley Alcorn of Bluffton, who plays Ulla.

The show also marks a slight diversion for the theater, which usually sticks to more classic plays.

"I think it's a really fun show," said Travis Marshall of Bluffton, who plays Franz. "It's one of the more modern shows that the theater has done."


May River Theatre Co.

"The Producers"

"Curtain Up"

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