By J’na Jefferson
Even with the number of days left in the semester dwindling down, most students are more stressed than ever because of finals on top of last minute papers and projects. But, what better way is there to combat worry than to have a good laugh? If you want a great excuse to step away from your computer and not worry about finals for a little while, I advise you to see Rider University’s rendition of the musical, The Producers.
The musical is an adaptation of the 1968 film of the same title directed by Mel Brooks. The original Broadway cast was led by Nathan Lane as ex-producer Max Bialystock and Matthew Broderick as accountant-turned-producer Leo Bloom. Rider was fortunate enough to have two excellent leads at the helm — junior Jimmy Lewis as the conniving yet charming Max and sophomore Greg Clark as the adorably anxiety-prone Leo.
They hope to use a get-rich-quick scheme and make millions of dollars off their next Broadway show by ensuring that the show will be a flop. Max and Leo meet many colorful characters along the way, including flamboyant director Roger DeBrisw and his equally outrageous “common law assistant” Carmen (played brilliantly by freshmen Joseph McKiernan and Rory Connolly, respectively). The play’s leading lady, sultry Ulla from Sweden, played by junior Carolina Sanchez, also proves that she deserves to be in the spotlight.
The prospective musical the men eventually come across, Springtime for Hitler, is a musical ode to the infamous Nazi leader, penned fictitiously by Franz Liebkind (portrayed by freshman Sean Magnacca).
Throughout the musical, audiences will find themselves wondering whether Max and Leo’s plan will be a success or if things will take a turn for the worse.
The excellent cast and ensemble were directed by Robin Lewis, who also served as the show’s choreographer. The musical director, Nathan Hurwitz, as well as the pit, provided the audience with songs that will stay in their heads for days to come.
If you want to relieve your stress during the last few weeks of classes, have a good laugh and see a musical complete with dancing old women, then Rider’s outrageously funny rendition of The Producers is the musical for you.