Today’s news:

‘Producers’ will spend big time

for The Brooklyn Paper

“The Producers” was one of the most-lauded shows in Broadway history. Now, it’ll be the most-expensive community theater production ever in Brooklyn.

The 12-Tony-award-winning Mel Brooks classic will open at Poly Prep Country Day School on March 20 — the first time that the show will be performed in the city (besides Broadway, of course).

And because money makes the world go around, like the show itself suggests, The Ridge Chorale theater company needed a lot of it to put on “The Producers.”

With a budget of $45,000 — which doesn’t even pay for the backstage coffee at a Broadway theater, but is an enormous price for a community theater — Ridge Chorale’s production will have most of the frills of the original.

“‘The Producers’ can’t be done cheaply, the costuming is elaborate, the effects are elaborate, and the cast is large,” said the production’s executive producer Karen Tadross. “We do things on a bigger scale.”

Big and elaborate in this case means huge set designs trucked in from Virginia and hiring a 22-piece orchestra. “The sets are very elaborate in this production they are almost as integral as the script in making the story come alive,” said the production’s director Jeff Samaha.

Yet Tadross and Samaha are quick to add that a bigger scale and budget doesn’t have to mean higher ticket prices. At $25 a ticket, the show is a nice retreat from a $125 ticket at the production in Manhattan, which actually closes for good on April 22.

“The Producers” at Poly Prep Country Day School [9216 Seventh Ave., between 92nd and 93rd streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 775-9090] runs from March 20–28. Tickets are $25. For info and tickets, visit jeffsamaha.com/index1.html

Updated 5:19 pm, March 12, 2009: Story was altered to correct an error: "The Producers" has been performed outside of Manhattan — including last year's production in Hickory, N.C. The Brooklyn Paper regrets the slight of our southern readers.
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Brian from Chelsea says:
You write it is "the first time that the show will be performed outside of Manhattan", however you are incorrect. Not only has the show been performed outside of manhattan, but also by another high school first. Last year Edward R. Murrow High School was the first high school to be granted permission to perform the show.
March 9, 2009, 11:44 pm
freddy slope says:
the set design was outsourced to virginia????

or did they truck in a retread set from another show??

inquiring minds want to know.
March 10, 2009, 10:18 am

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