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Alexander and Short Will Team for L.A. 'Producers'

July 12, 2002|DON SHIRLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Jason Alexander will play the rascally Max Bialystock and Martin Short will play his meek co-conspirator Leo Bloom in the Los Angeles production of "The Producers" next year at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.

"This is a dream cast," said the show's creator, Mel Brooks. "Both these guys are dynamite." Previews will begin May 2, with an opening night on May 29.

The casting of Alexander and Short had been rumored for months. Alexander was signed first, but the Short deal was completed only this week, Brooks said. Neither was asked to audition, he said. "We know how talented both these guys are."

Although the two stars are better known for TV roles, both have won Tony Awards for best actor in a musical--Alexander for "Jerome Robbins' Broadway" in 1989 and Short for "Little Me" in 1999.

Both have agreed to stay with the L.A. company during its entire run, Brooks said, but how long that will be depends on sales. The initial block of tickets will be available Aug. 6.

The stars will join a touring company that will open in Pittsburgh in September. The tour's initial stars, Lewis J. Stadlen and Don Stephenson, will open a second tour when Alexander and Short take over in L.A.

Brooks emphasized that Alexander and Short "are not divas or prima donnas. They're actors you can have lunch with. Of course you have to pick up the tab."

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