Tuesday, 25 October 2016

"The Producers" by Nottingham Operatic Society
Nottingham Theatre Royal.
I could do this in two ways. the short review or the long review, but anyone who knows me knows that why, when I c an use one or two words when a thousand will do.
OK. the short review. BLOODY AMAZING SHOW. SEE IT NOW!
That over with, here's the review i want to give. It's always good when you look forward to seeing a show and the show lives up to your expectations. Several times this year the productions I've looked forward to seeing have excelled my expectations and this show is most definitely one of those.
It's incredible that the Nottingham Operatic Society is a local theatre society when the whole staging of the show is on a par with the touring productions. Take the sets. They were brilliant, provided by Scenic Projects, a lot of money has been spent on this production and it really shows. the standard of professionalism is through the roof, as it always is with NOS.
The costumes were equally amazing, and anyone who has seen this show in the past will know that there are many many costumes in the show. Supplied by Triple C Costumes.
The lighting of the play was the responsibility of Nottingham's lighting magician, Mr Tom Mowat. You can tell that NOS only use the best of the best for their shows.
The set shifters and stage crew also did an amazing job. Too many people to mention by name but they know who they are and I'm sure they know they did an incredible job. The smooth transition of the sets were done rapidly and with the minimum of fuss. Stage manager, Michelle Smith, Assistant Stage manager, Gareth Morris, Deuty Stage Manager, Nigel Newton and Stage Director Ian McCarthy also needs credit for the job they did. More often than not these people who work behind the scenes get no or little mention and they are what keeps the show as slick as it is.
The whole cast were excellent and perfect in their roles.
Simon Theobald (Max Bialystock) was a tour de force in his role along with his partner in crime, Mark Coffey-Bainbridge (Leo Bloom). Together they were just magical, the singing and dancing double act were an absolute joy to watch.Who says opposites don't attract with the uber confident Bialystock and Leo,the child-like naivety of the accountant who dreamt of being a big Broadway producer
Amanda Bruce (Ulla Inga Hansen Benson Yansen Tallen Hallen Svaden Swanson.) was gorgeous as the Swedish temptress who ends up married to the hapless Bloom. I love the song "If You Got It, Flaunt It" and Amanda delivered it dripping with sexiness.
Bialystock and Bloom are on the lookout for the biggest flop to make and when they find the script, "Springtime For Hitler", they track down the writer, Franz Liebkind, played by Ian Pottage. Another wonderfully crafted comic role, only slightly upstaged by the pigeons he keeps!
They get his permission after some more choreographed fun and set out to hire the worst director in Roger De Bris, Donning high heels and a frock once more is Dan Armstrong and along with his common law assistant, Carmen Ghia (OK Carmen!), played by Jarrod Makin. they lead us in a merry dance with some if De Bris' other housemates with one of the many musical highlights of the show in "Keep It Gay". I was just wondering what happened to the kitchen sink?!!!
The 40 strong ensemble, which included a mass of zimmer framed grey-haired Bialystock show backers in a wonderful piece of choreography, Germans, and show girls and guys. Many of them well known faces on Nottingham stages, including Rob Harrison as Bryan, Joanne Lale as "Hold Me Touch Me".
Wouldn't you know it but the musical, "Springtime For Hitler" is a big Broadway hit and Bialystock ends up in jail while Leo runs off to Rio with the two million dollars and Ulla. they return to get Max out of jail and they have another big hit musical.
This show is fun fun fun all the way. Brilliant vocals from every single one of them, ensemble and mains alike. Great sets, lighting, sound (Michael Donoghue), a wonderful orchestra under the musical direction of Stephen Williams. Brilliantly entertaining choreography, including a wonderful swastika-shaped dance routine complete with a massive overhead mirror so that you could see the full effect, and some fantastic tap routines, all choreographed by Lisa Lee, who also directed the show.
There were a few new additions to the staging which only added to the enjoyment of the comedy of the show, and while I knew there were a few "glitches", these were well covered up and I doubt that many would've even noticed.
The show was practically the perfect performance, and I knew by the first half that i would be on my feet by the final bows. I hoped that the rest of the audience would join me, which they did, but to tell the truth I wouldn't have been bothered if I was standing alone (wouldn't be the first time) because I just love this show and NOS showed that they are still tops for producing massive hit shows of this quality.
"The Producers" is on at the Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 29 October 2016 but if you don't want to miss this excellent show, get your tickets right away and don't be afraid to keep it gay!

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