Zhaba Zhournal
Wednesday, January 07, 2004 
Production values and the value of productions 
J. and I have commented wistfully on this possibility, and at last it's coming true: there's a plan to make a movie out of the musical of "The Producers." I suppose it might seem like unnecessary overkill; but the movie, however brilliant and hilarious, is also hopelessly stuck in the 60's (Max says he's going to buy a "toy" and returns with a blonde Swedish secretary, the guy who wins the role of Hitler is a fur-boot-wearing hippie named LSD); the musical is brilliant, hilarious, and more palatable. No one's going to top Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, and Kenneth Mars; but I think the Broadway cast can be just as un-toppable in their own way. (Like "Chicago" backwards: I don't think there's anyone in Hollywood today who could top Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera, and Jerry Orbach on Broadway, but Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and, of all people, Richard Gere were perfect movie incarnations.)

Besides, the Broadway show is a) expensive and b) almost impossible to get tickets for, and even if you do get tickets, there's no telling who's going to be playing the lead roles by the time you actually see it. (And also c) in New York, requiring considerable travel time and expense for anyone who doesn't live on the mid-Atlantic East Coast.) So filming the two original stars, with the original Broadway director directing, and enabling everyone who can get to a movie theater to see it for $8 or so, is actually—I'm running out of superlatives—well, it's a great idea, and a valuable service to that part of humanity that loves movies, musicals, Broadway, and the intersections thereof.

[ at 9:37 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

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