The newest incarnation of Mel Brooks' classic film THE PRODUCERS is sure to please its target audience-- people who loved the Broadway musical, and who will be happy to see the celebrated performances of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick captured on film. In that respect, it is a success, but otherwise it is a bust.
Susan Stroman's direction results in fine performances all around, but the film looks bad. There's no poetry in the camera work, and the sets feel stuck within the confines of a stage, as if no one on the production team realized that there could be a real world outside that office. The musical version was a hit on Broadway, and perhaps this is because we watch theater differently than we watch film-- we are in the room with it, and it is alive, and so we will forgive the iffy lyrics and the tired stereotypes. But huge on a screen, everyone looks weird and mousey, and the light isn't right, and are you kidding it isn't over yet?
The original PRODUCERS was all about the hour spent in anticipation of "Springtime for Hitler," the moment when the movie exploded in chorus girls draped in sausage and lederhosen. But the new PRODUCERS has blown it twenty minutes in: we've already seen the chorus girls, we've already burst into song. If you know right now that this movie was made for you, go see it and have a lovely time. But if your feet are cold, it's not going to win you over, so stay in with Gene and Zero.
According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.