Janus or Pluto?: (Some more) theatre on video and film

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From my Playwright at Liberty blog

Playwright at Liberty

the-producers

When I first heard that Mel Brooks’ wildly uneven but utterly original 1968 comedy The Producers was being developed as a stage musical. my heart sank. Another adaptation of a movie? This was only in 2000, remember, long before the mad rush to plaster the entirety of Broadway with pre-sold movie titles and “jukebox” shows, yet the trend had already planted its pernicious roots, due largely to the flowering of Michael Eisner’s beloved “synergy”: Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King. It now routinely requires two dozen named producers to mount the average musical in New York; a movie company can spend and spend (and spend) in the theatre, and its investment will still be, comparatively, minimal, even relatively painless.

The_Producers_(1968)

My apprehension for this particular show was largely alleviated when I discovered that Brooks himself was writing the score, and co-authoring the book. Since Brooks has written delicious songs for most of his movies (including of course…

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