BRUNSWICK – Maine State Music Theatre will continue its 50th anniversary season this summer with the most award-winning musical ever, “The Producers.” The 12-time Tony Award-winning musical chronicles the comic adventures of Broadway producer Max Bialystock and mousy accountant Leo Bloom as they scheme to hit it rich by over-investing in a sure-fire flop.

The production runs from June 25 to July 12 at Pickard Theater on the campus of Bowdoin College. Tickets range from $29 to $51 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 725-8769 or by logging on to www.msmt.org.

Many contemporary audiences are familiar with “The Producers” from the 2001 Broadway musical and the 2005 Susan Stromberg-directed film, both starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. MSMT’s production of the show, however, harkens back to the original 1968 Mel Brooks film of the same name.

“The heart of this is much closer to the first movie,” said director Marc Robin, who recently directed the show at the Marriott Theatre in Chicago.

Co-stars of “The Producers,” Ed Romanoff and Chuck Ragsdale, share Robin’s vision and draw upon the original film for inspiration in shaping their characters. Romanoff recalls enjoying the Mel Brooks film as a child and he channels the film in his portrayal of the hapless producer, Max. “Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder were heroes of mine,” he notes. “Those are the voices that I hear in my head.”

Ragsdale, who plays the stage-struck accountant Leo, shares Romanoff’s sentiments. “I come from the South where there’s a saying: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Gene Wilder gave such an iconic performance. He was so brilliant in what he brought to the role.”

MSMT’s production of “The Producers” also features several stars from past seasons, including Amy Bodnar as Ulla, Curt Dale Clark as Franz Liebkind, Stuart Marland as Roger De Bris and Raymond Dumont as Carmen Ghia.


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