'The Producers' is a hit at COS: Go see it

Paul Boerger review
The College of the Siskiyous Theater Department presents 'The Producers, now playing at the Kenneth Ford Theater. The show's highlight musical number 'Springtime for Hitler,' above, is hilarious and like nothing you have seen.

An appreciative audience laughed long, clapped loudly and guffawed with glee during Friday night’s opening of “The Producers” at College of the Siskiyous in Weed.

A COS Theater Department production, The Producers was originally an outrageous 1968 Mel Brooks comedy that he adapted to a Broadway musical in 2001. It went on to win a record-breaking 12 Tony awards.

Director Wendy James bit off a huge chunk in bringing the Broadway hit to COS, pulling it off wonderfully with a multi-talented cast. James also choreographed the numerous musical numbers that are as entertaining as they are creative.

We have seen excellent COS shows through the years, but The Producers takes it to whole other level in music, sets, costumes and the number of characters the supporting cast has to play.

The show stars Bill Counts as the aging, once famous, down on his luck producer Max Bialystock, and Cory Coppin is the shy, neurotic accountant Leo Bloom. The pair conspire to produce the worst musical possible to ensure the show closes, netting the pair the investors’ money.

They pick “Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden,” a ridiculous, offensive and bound-to-fail musical.

Counts is a talented, high energy actor who nails Bialystock in spades. Coppin pulls off the transition from shy accountant to budding Broadway producer with ease. Aaron Clemens, a flat-out riot to watch, plays the worst director on Broadway and stars in Springtime as Hitler. I guarantee you have never seen Hitler played like this.

This cast deserves kudos for playing so many different roles in a show requiring major costume changes and diverse characters, along with singing and dancing. The show features a 16 piece orchestra that did excellent work with the production’s 26 musical numbers.

For those who have seen the movie or the Broadway production, the show’s highlight musical number, “Springtime for Hitler,” will come as no surprise. You will, however, be delighted at the high quality level of production the COS theater department was able to bring to the number.

If you know nothing about “Springtime for Hitler,” fasten your seatbelt as it is an absolute original.

The Producers is highly recommended. Go see it.

It is rated PG 13 for language and adult situations. The show plays at the Kenneth Ford Theater on the COS Weed campus April 18 and 19 at 7 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 530-938-5373.

The final two performances of "The Producers" are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 18 and 19, at 7 p.m. in the College of the Siskiyous Ford Theater in Weed.

Final performances April 18 and 19 at 7 p.m.