ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

THE PRODUCERS Music & Lyrics by Mel Brooks Director: Jess Bray Musical Director: Chris Addington Choreography Nikki Wilkinson Rochdale Musical Theatre Company “A satiric masterpiece”, “it was shocking outrageous and insulting”, and I, along with the rest of the audience at Rochdale musical theatre company’s latest production, ‘The Producers’, loved every minute of it. ‘The Producers’ first made it appearance as a 1967 feature film starring Zero Mostel (Max Bialystock) and Gene Wilder (Leo Bloom) before being adapted to becoming an award-winning Broadway hit in 2001. The production follows Max, a long-time washed-up Broadway producer and Leo, an accountant/wannabe Broadway producer. The duo go out and search for the worst script, director and cast imaginable to create an undoubtable Broadway flop. The pair hope their production of ‘Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden’ will close before its even opened, and for them to escape to Rio with the 2 million dollars raised for the production. Returning to the Champness Hall, Rochdale for the second time, RMTC welcomed back the production team which brought you ‘Legally Blonde’ in October last year. Jess Bray has taken on the mammoth task of directing ‘The Producers’ and making the piece fit the three-level stage at Champness hall. When you think of “The Producers” you think of huge sets wheeled on and off the stage aided by flats and tabs. but not in a Jess Bray production. With the help of two LED screens Jess transported us to the whacky world of Bialystock and Bloom (and little old lady land). She has a way of using this unusual stage to her advantage, making the space seem to be one level from an audience perspective. Complementing Jess’s direction, Nikki Cooke choreographed each musical number using the ensemble members. I love watching musicals which choreograph for the ensemble