Just as people of a certain age can always remember where they were when they heard that Kennedy had been shot (as comedian Steven Wright put it, ‘I remember where I was, I was on the sixth floor of a book depository....’) so Londonist imagines that most people can remember the first time that they saw the Mel Brooks movie The Producers, particularly if they had the benefit of not being told what the film was about. It is one of the few times that we have, literally, fallen off our chair laughing.
Once the magic of surprise has gone, the film remains a classic, so it was little surprise that the film about a play would eventually become a play about a play — hell, it worked for Shakespeare.
It opened to ecstatic audiences in New York in 2001, and has now been brought to London, where it officially opens tonight at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane . The posters advertising Richard Dreyfuss and Lee Evans have been hastily replaced with ones advertising Nathan Lane and Lee Evans.
London has got lucky by mistake here. Lane may not be a big name, but he is big enough for the Max Bialystock part made life by Zero Mostel. Evans has also made the unusual move from Becket to Brooks in a single bound. His last London stage appearance was with Michael Gambon in Endgame.
Flushed with the success of the play of the film about a play, there is going to be a film of the play of the film about a play. If you can get your head round that, filming is scheduled to start in February and the producers of, er, The Producers hope to have it released by December 2005. Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane will reunite and Nicole Kidman will provide the female interest.