The Producers Pleases Crowds but Lacks Substance

Every once in a while, a show comes around that is popular for no good reason whatsoever. The Producers, presented by North Carolina Theatre, is one of those shows. The story centers around two men, Max Bialystock (Michael McCormick) and Leo Bloom (Stacey Todd Holt), who concoct a scheme to put on the worst Broadway flop in history in order to keep the money for themselves and make a hefty fortune. As one might expect, their plan backfires and the show they produce is, predictably, a huge success. Filled with lackluster jokes, musical numbers that annoy, and, believe it or not, dancing pigeons, The Producers is ridiculousness at its worst.

The fault, however, lies purely with the writing and not with the cast. McCormick and Holt are tolerable in their roles, and Lara Seibert’s Ulla delights with her sultry moves and hilariously contrived accent. Christopher Sloan also shines as the gayer-than-gay Carmen Ghia. Thanks to the talented cast, a few of the musical numbers manage to be fun. “I Wanna Be A Producer,” “Keep it Gay,” and “When You Got It, Flaunt It,” are some of the highlights. Despite a few nice moments, the show ultimately disappoints.

The problem here is that there is nothing really special or stand-out about the performance. The jokes can be seen from a mile away, and the story drags on for close to three hours. Yes, the show has won twelve Tony awards, and the majority of people will love it. However, the majority just isn’t that smart.

By Susie Potter

Susie Potter is a 2009 graduate of Meredith College where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina Statue University. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. For more information visit

1 comment

  1. It amazes me that a paper would send a critic to review a show for which they have obvious disdain. She clearly doesn’t like Mel Brooks’ humor, which is fine, but she is very much like Mr. Brooks’ by insulting the lot. I mean, Ms. Potter even insults her own readership by saying the “majority just isn’t that smart.” implying she is smarter than us all. Who the hell do you think reads your reviews Ms. Potter? MENSA candidates only? Well, I enjoyed the show. I thought it was funny, very well acted and the recreated direction of Ms. Stroman by Mr. Burns was spot on. Even the pigeons did well…yes, Ms. Potter, it appears you weren’t really paying attention, they aren’t chickens, they’re pigeons.

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