Monday, October 17, 2005

"The Producers", The 'Best' Show On Broadway?

I went to see the Mel Brooks musical The Producers on Saturday night, with a big bunch of people that was organised through a friend of Mikey's (the lovely ex). It's playing at the Lyric Theatre at the Star City casino complex. I had never actually set foot inside the casino before, and yech it's horrible. I don't have a gambling bone in my body (must be the Scots in me) and felt no compulsion to have a try, and I found the atmosphere really strange. Aside from that the decor was hectic and ugly, with a walk through grotto here, a 70's style bar there, giant fishtanks over there, neon everywhere... it was like it had been designed by a committee (of people with ADD).

It was quite a pleasant evening, we started off at the Astral Bar on the 17th floor of the hotel. The views are absolutely spectacular, and I recommend it as absolutely the best place in Sydney to enjoy an $8 mineral water. One of the guys ordered 3 cocktails and got very little change from $100. Having said that, we did have a pleasant drink and I met some very nice new people.

Anyway, the show. It has been running in Sydney since May this year, so has had quite a long and still very successful run. It was almost an entirely full house the night we went. Surprisingly though, I thought the show was a bit crap. Some of the audience were almost rolling in the aisles with laughter, while we all looked at each as if someone had just told a joke we didn't get.

The musical numbers were fine, and a few of them like 'Little Old Ladyland' and 'Springtime For Hitler' are excellent, but most of the linking story pieces were, well, cheesy and flat. I'm a fan of Mel Brooks, so I know and love his usual 'cheese factor,' but I was surprised how lacking in cleverness I found this show. So much of it relied on lame 'tit and bum' jokes that fell flat and seemed a tad desperate for laughs in this context. Maybe it was the direction, because everything was played super broadly, but I think it was also a big mistake to have one of the characters break character and talk to the audience about current events in the middle of the show.

Anyway, it was pleasant enough, but I could think of more fun ways to blow the $100 it cost me for the ticket, and for me it fell well short of the "Best Show On Broadway" advertising tagline. General consensus after the show was that it was quite a disappointment.


Bodhi said...

Star City indeed does look like it has been designed by a committee of people with ADD. Being quite the high-flyers that we are, sometime Rabbit and myself have put a combined total of $5 through the 1c pokie machines for fun. I know, we are quite the hedonists throwing caution to the wind, huh? Anyhoo, just about every time I visit the place I am reminded of the immortal words of Mitzi in Priscilla Queen of the Desert in the scene where they all walk into an outback hotel to discover the interior has been completed covered and painted with Australian landscapes:


I find some of Mel Brooks films quite amusing, but never that amusing that I would pay good money to see a Mel Brooks musical. No matter what creative writing the spin-doctors came up with on that one, they were never going to win me over there I'm afraid.

Last time I went to the Lyric Theatre at Star City was when The Kid and I saw Abba: The Musical. Now that, sweeties, was Abba-solutely Faaaabulous!

duane said...

I am glad that I am waiting for the movie then!! They are coming out with that I think this year... A musical that you MUST see, if you have the chance, is Wicked. I am sure you have heard about it, but you won't feel like you wasted your $100 on that one!

The Other Andrew said...

Duane, I'd love to see Wicked. I'm a huge fan of the book (re-reading it at the moment) and my sweet friend Stephen just gave me the hardcover of the sequel "Son Of A Witch" as a belated birthday present. Woot! I don't think there are any plans for it to come to Oz though. (Boo!) I saw snippet on the documentary series "Broadway: The American Musical" which only served to whet my appetite.

Michael said...

Dude, I can't believe we saw the same show! I loved "The Producers" when it came 'round here last spring. Loved.
Further proof that you need me around to ground you with the common folk.

Michael said...

P.S. This has nothing to do with the current post, but how much did I love your line about 'muscle shirts and head scarf/Jackie O glasses? A whole lot. Even now.

The Other Andrew said...

I'm increasingly of the opinion that maybe The Producers would have been better with better direction, and maybe the cast were a bit tired as it is ending it's run. I love a musical, but this just didn't quite pull it off for me (so to speak).

Glad you liked the muscle tank/headscarfe crack on your comments. That Jen is a sweetie, is she not! She cracks me up. Given the chance to hang out with you and her I think my head would explode from all the joy.

harry said...

The Producers was complete rubbish!
I only listened to the soundtrack twice (the second time because I was _sure_ I'd missed something really obvious, yeah?)

It wasn't funny. I snorted twice and laughed once (the recap bit during 'betrayed' where he yells 'Intermission!').
The music itself was flat. It had not oomph or sparkle at all.
It was too long.

I gave it -8 out of 10.

Avenue Q - now _there's_ a musical! Piss funny, great music, inventive, re-listenable many times over.