By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Whitney Hennen plays the romantic interest, Swedish secretary/showgirl Ulla. Hennen is a blond bonbon who can belt to the high heavens on "When You Got It, Flaunt It." Brad Jackson's sequin-clad Roger DeBris is every flounce as funny as Christopher Hewitt in the original movie. Playing Roger's "common-law assistant," young Peter DiCesare meets Jackson swish for swish. The showstopper that is Springtime for Hitler, complete with goose-stepping chorines and costumes bedecked with swastikas and bratwurst, has Jackson, in tiny mustache and Nazi garb, singing "Heil Myself" and perching on the edge of the stage like Judy at Carnegie Hall.
With orchestrations for 20 instruments, the score for this Producers sounds anemic played by musical director Scott A. Eckert's eight-piece combo, positioned backstage. On opening night, the horns were amateurishly squeaky and off-key; but often were the only instruments audible from out front. Light cues were a bit wonky, too.
Big snaps to the hardworking chorus kids, though, who jump in and out of costumes as they all play multiple roles, including the walker-tapping army of Max's love-starved little old lady benefactors: Caitlin Darby, Jennie Titiryn, Emily Ford, Kelly McCain, Lisa Ward, Shannon Walsh, Art Kedzierski, Mikey Abrams, Ivan Jasso, Thomas Renner, Ashton Kay Shawver and Jonathan Bragg.
Continues through September 15 at Kalita Humphreys Theater. For tickets, call 214-219-2718.
But it's B.J. Cleveland's Bialystock who's the toast of the town this week. In The Producers, he's got it and he flaunts it. Wa wa WAH wa. Does he ever.