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Critics' summer picks | THEATER

'The Producers' keeps delivering

May 22, 2003|Don Shirley

With radio ads heralding "the very best musical in theater history," people's expectations of "The Producers" may be just a little inflated.

No, the fact that it's the Tony champion of all time -- with 12 awards -- doesn't make it the best musical in history; some of the best musicals never won the Tony Award.

Still, the majority of Los Angeles theatergoers who haven't yet seen "The Producers" can look forward to some big-league laughs. And those who have seen it may be wondering what Jason Alexander and Martin Short will do in the roles created by Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.

Like his 1967 movie, Mel Brooks' musical is about two rascally producers. The show may have special resonance in Hollywood, which probably has more rascally producers per capita than even New York.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday May 24, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 2 inches; 70 words Type of Material: Correction
"Producers" prices and movie -- Tickets for preview performances are priced differently from the regular run of "The Producers." Previews are $20 to $90; regular shows are $25 to $95. A critic's pick in Thursday's Calendar Weekend said there was no price difference. The critic's pick also listed the wrong year of release for the Mel Brooks film the play is based on. It was released in 1968, not 1967.

Besides the famous leads -- appearing in the Los Angeles production only -- the Pantages Theatre version can boast of L.A. favorite Gary Beach, in his Tony-winning splash as a flamboyant director.

Previews have begun -- although ticket buyers may not be aware of that fact because, unlike many preview showings, these have the same admission price as regular performances. But the actual opening is May 29.

-- Don Shirley

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