We saw the new musical version of Mel Brooks' The Producers. I suggested watching both old & new back to back but in the end there wasn't enough time. But now having seen the new version, a marathon would not be necessa. Almost all of the dialog (when they weren't singing) was word for word from the original so I was able to quote scenes before they happened (sorry guys.) Even a lot of the body language was the same. Sets & costumes too. I was surprised. There were some new gags, tho', most notably references to Brooks' other films but otherwise the new material was primarily the music.
To be honest, if I were watching this movie alone I would have fast forwarded through most of the musical numbers. It may be more flash & dash & some expensive eye-candy but it really adds nothing to the story ("Springtime for Hitler" excluded, of course) to take a single paragraph & pad it out to five minutes. And it grows in aggravation when most of it just repeats the chorus in different ways. "You can do it!" "I can't do it!" "You can do it!" "I can't do it!" -- "That's enough, I've heard enough. Just get to it!" -- If they were going to make a musical out of The Producers they should have just expanded "Springtime for Hitler" out to a full show. Otherwise, making a musical about making a musical becomes redundant quicker than you can ask whether life or art is imitated first.
I was wary about the casting since I had not heard of most of the actors before. Plus, I watched the original just last Friday along with much of the bonus DVD material & found that most of the principal roles were pretty much written for their actors. Still, I was surprised at how well Nathan Lane played Max Bialystock, even making the character a little less repulsive, and Gary Beach as queer director Roger DeBris was spot on. However, the others, namely those that played Leo Blum, Ulla & Franz Liebkind were disappointing. Broderick's was a watered down & inexpressive Gene Wilder, & Thurman's Swedish was muddled at best. It was as if they watched the original film once & took their direction from there.
Still, there were plenty of parts I enjoyed & some delightful surprises thrown in. Switching a fruity Hitler for a hippie Hitler threw me quite a bit, & hearing Brooks' single line of dialog in the same place but 30 years later was another laugh. I am glad I saw the movie version of the stage musical, but now having seen it, I don't need to own it. The Producers, tho' enjoyable, still isn't among my favourite Mel Brooks films. And speaking of which, I'm looking forward to the stage play version of Young Frankenstein. I'm not fond of it being a musical as well, as it could only befoul John Morris' beautifully haunting score. But I am fond of the idea of seeing it on the stage & will try to travel if it ever plays locally. . . even if Madeline Kahn isn't in it. (sigh)
Today I had the pleasure of seeing Gemma again as the guest at her company picnic. We arrived on time, meaning, before the caterer & most of the other guests. Surprisingly the caterer was from (shudder) Bellville. You'd think they could have found one somewhere close in the city. But the food was good & evil_jim was happy. People kept showing up throughout the four hours we were there. Gemma showed everyone where to find the water balloons & squirt guns & things started to get wild once the dunk tank was open for business. Somehow, & I can only say "somehow" because I don't know how or why it worked, but somehow I talked Gemma into taking a turn in the tank. I even have the
Tomorrow will not be as leisurely. Having two days gone from this week already I will have to redouble my job search efforts. Nonbusiness hours, however, will still be generally free. Tomorrow phil_bond & I will go back in the studio for more recording & Thursday I believe will find some time with Tom. Right now? I'ma go over there. I'm posting this two hours later than I thought I would.
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Afterthought: Hmm. After installing Gaim on this computer I've seen very few people online with which to try it out. It appears this will take longer than even I had at first been imagining.