Review: “The Producers” at Casa Manana

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  • Shawn Stalter, Chief Dallas/Ft. Worth Critic

Fort Worth, TX - In Casa Manana’s capable hands, under the direction of Courtney Young, the talented cast and crew of “The Producers” crafted a show steeped in Mel Brooks’ signature style and backed it with turbocharged choreography and precision comedic timing. Fans of Mel Brooks’ extensive catalog of film and stage hits enjoyed ample laughs in this wildly entertaining, dynamic production which closes out Casa’s 2018-2019 Broadway season.

“The Producers” follows  the turbulent life of down-and-out Broadway producer, “Max Bialystock,” who believes his fortune is about to change after a chance meeting with a subdued young accountant, “Leo Bloom.” Together they hatch a hairbrained get-rich-quick scheme focused on producing the worst show Broadway has ever seen while conning financial backers out of millions of dollars. However, these plans quickly unravel as their show-within-a-show, “Springtime for Hitler,” becomes a crtically-acclaimed hit and thrusts them into a hilarious predicament.

Winning a ground-breaking twelve Tony Awards, “The Producers” bursts at the seams with the unique comedic stylings of Mel Brooks. It is a show that doesn’t hold back in its relentless onslaught of jokes aimed at Hollywood insiders, theatre critics and others. Its ample innuendo and over-the-top physical comedy go hand in hand with stereotyped accents and wild portrayals of people from all walks of life. “The Producers” prides itself in maintaining a persona as an“equal opportunity offender.”

Casa Manana’s top-notch performance gave this DFW audience heaping servings of the outrageous, in-your-face humor which makes “The Producers” such a celebrated classic. The dynamic performers fully embraced the show’s outlandish comedic material and then infused it with the crisp choreography, dynamic vocals and exceptional costuming it deserves. The all-star cast, including John Treacy Egan as “Max Bialystock,” Dan DeLuca as “Leo Bloom”, Greg White as “Franz Liebkind,” David Engel as “Roger DeBris,” Sean Patrick Doyle as “Carmen Ghia,” and Julia Knitel as “Ulla,” all ensured the Casa dome was jam-packed with riotous laughter all night long.

In addition to the lead roles, the energized and talented ensemble cast helped serve up this layered comedic feast. They brought down the house with spot-on comedic timing and dynamic physical comedy through imaginative portrayals of downtrodden accountants, swooning showgirls, sexually-frustrated widows, overly-enthusiastic German citizens and more.

The show concluded to thunderous applause from an audience who spent the better part of the last two hours laughing their heads off. DFW theatregoers in the mood for some mature-audience comedic stylings ala’ genius Mel Brooks need to check out Casa Manana’s “The Producers” running through June 9th, 2019.

 

“The Producers” at Casa Manana runs through June 9th, 2019, is directed and choreographed by Courtney Young and stars John Treacy Egan, as “Max Bialystock,” Dan DeLuca as “Leo Bloom”, Greg White as “Franz Liebkind,” David Engel as “Roger DeBris,” Sean Patrick Doyle as “Carmen Ghia,” and Julia Knitel as “Ulla.” The talented ensemble cast includes Brick Ban, Darrel Blackburn, Caitlin Cannon, Alexandra Cassens, Rob Flebbe, John Fredrickson, Phillip Giandiletti, Morgan Haney, Evie Lawson, Jeremiah Porter, Bob Reed, Maria Scherer, Kaylene Snarsky, Alexandra Sutherland, Ashlyn Whiteside and Allie Wiatrowski.

Learn more about Casa Manana and buy your ticket for an upcoming showing of “The Producers” by visiting www.casamanana.org. You can also secure tickets by visiting the theatre box office at 3101 West Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas.

Photo credit:  Chip Tompkins