“The Producers” charms local audiences


Hilariously funny and brilliantly cast, “The Producers” at Phoenix Theater Festival at Harford Community College will tap dance and sing its way into your heart.

Just as broke Broadway producer Max Bialystock (Lance Bankerd) is at his wits end with his numerous failed Broadway shows, his accountant tells him that he could actually make more money with a total flop than a moderately successful production. Convincing his naïve and miserable accountant Leo Bloom (Gary Dieter) to team up with him, they set out to produce the worst show ever.

With the help of notoriously bad director Roger De Bris (John Desmone) and a play by a Nazi enthusiast playwright (Mark Lloyd), which is a “love letter” to Hitler, they seem to be on the right track. But when an accident happens on opening night, the production goes from terrible and offensive to a smash hit, foiling Bialystock and Bloom’s plans to run off with the funds.

The musical number “Springtime for Hitler” presented the show within the show and consisted of show girls wearing large German foods on their heads and the pompous De Bris as Hitler. As the director steps in at the last minute, his flamboyant and hysterical portrayal of Hitler turns the show into a critically acclaimed satire. Desmone steals his scenes and leaves his audience begging for more.

I found myself mesmerized by the outrageous costumes and fun musical numbers. My personal favorite was, “Along Came Bialy,” featuring the cast dressed as old women and dancing with perfectly synchronized walkers. The lively and eye-catching numbers were choreographed by Theatre Department Director Kim Brueggemann.

The dynamic duo of Dieter and Bankerd are dynamite. Pauses between laughs were few and far between. Additionally, the pair had excellent comedic timing and left the audience hanging onto their every joke and facial expression. They never missed a beat and kept the three hour long show rolling.

Filled with smart humor and comedic charm, “The Producers” kept me laughing and made for a great night out.

Karly Horn is an A&E Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.