Mel Brooks’ Mulligan
Nearly 40 years after the cult classic comedy first premiered, The Producers returned to the silver screen following a blockbuster 2001 Broadway revival featuring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. In all three, a floundering accountant and a failing theatrical producer stumble into an embezzlement scheme aiming for a guaranteed flop. After struggling to reconcile their delusions of grandeur with their current lives, Max and Leo go about finding the worst play ready for production, after all how hard can it be? Making agreement after agreement just so their terrible musical can see the stage for one night, our protagonists find themselves wrapped in a web of bad deals with every Little Old Lady and Nazi in Post-War New York. The musical hangs on to the new cast and retains the sense of rampant impropriety that made the original such fun and makes a few script adjustments. 2005 didn’t offer the same rich countercultural fodder for the deconstruction and incidental satire of totalitarianism as the 60s, so Brooks substitutes the hippie showstealer from his original with a caricature of Broadway director: incredibly vain, eccentric, obnoxiously egocentric and decorated with all the trappings some closed-minded individuals might associate with a homosexual. With a cast of relatable, if over-ambitious, characters and a throwback soundtrack full of the sounds of Old Broadway, this raucous and risqué romp is sure to entertain.
Even if you have zero affinity for musical theater, keep an eye out for this one on Netflix, HBO Go, and other popular streaming services. Come for the pageantry, stay for the Hitler jokes.
Postpective by Neal