August 2001Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings /Aug01/

Original Broadway Cast Recording - The new Mel Brooks musical:
The Producers   with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick
  Original Broadway Cast Recording
  SONY SK89646   [72:02]

The Peoducers

Mel Brooks’s new musical (he wrote the music and lyrics as well as the book (with Thomas Meehan) is of course based on his 1968 film of the same name that won him an Academy Award as writer. The film starred an outrageously over the top Zero Mostel as Max and Gene Wilder as Leo (here Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick respectively).

It is in the worst possible taste, of course. It’s central idea revolves around theatrical producer, loser Max Bialystock’s outrageous idea of staging a musical that will be sure to fail when his shy accountant Leo Bloom observes, "You could raise a million dollars, put on a hundred thousand dollar failure, and keep the rest for yourself." So they resolve to find the worst play ever written. They find it. A guaranteed to close-in-one-night disaster: Springtime for Hitler, A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden written by a neo-Nazi playwright nut and pigeon fancier Franz Liebkind. They then find the worst director and his team plus a knockout of a dizzy Swedish blonde named Ulla. Of course when the play is produced it is a smash hit!

The lyrics are outrageously funny. Here are a few samples:-

‘The King of Broadway’ (Max) " I always had the biggest hits, The Biggest bathrooms at the Ritz, My showgirls had the biggest tits, I never was the pits in any way."

‘Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop’ (Franz) "I solemnly svear to obey the sacred Siegfried Oath…never, never dishonour ze spirit und ze memory of Adolf Elizabeth Hitler [Max and Leo Dishonour – the… Elizabeth?] Ja That vas his middle name, Not many people know it, but he was descended from a long line of English queens."

‘When You’ve Got It Flaunt It’ (Ulla) "Ven you,ve got it, give it, don’t be selfish give it all a-vay, Don’t be shy, Be bold and cute, Show the boys your birthday suit…"

‘Where Did We Go Right’ (Max and Leo) "We searched Broadway on and off for singers with a cough…to trip the light fantastic we picked dancers who were spastic… Oh we knew we could not loose- half the audience were Jews!"

So be warned you will either curl up or kill yourself laughing.

Ian Lace

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