was a skinny, sickly Jewish kid in Brooklyn who was often bullied by
his classmates. His father died when he was only two, and he'll be the
first to tell you that he's still angry at God over that. He enlisted in
the army right after high school, then survived the Battle of the Bulge
while waging war against Hitler's army. He came back from the war,
enrolled in college as a psychology major and then spent a few years
doing stand-up comedy in the Catskills where he kept them rolling in the
Little Mel Kaminsky grew up to be Mel Brooks, the funniest funny
man in Hollywood and on Broadway. Only his deliciously comedic mind
could have birthed the musical comedy The Producers,
coming this spring to The Concord Players stage. Brooks has made a
living spoofing life with absurd and outrageous comedy. He reached his
apotheosis with The Producers.
Down-on-his-luck Broadway producer Max Bialystock is about to go
under in 1959 after a series of flops. He's getting tired of servicing
his harem of lusty old ladies in exchange for big checks to back his
shows. Enter Leo, a timid accountant who yearns for the tinsel and
glamour of The Great White Way. Leo figures out that Max can make more
money with a flop than with a hit, because with a flop he doesn't have
to pay his backers. Together they concoct a scheme to produce the
biggest flop in history, keep their ill-gotten gains and sail into the
sunset leaving the old broads behind.
They hit the mother lode when they find a script called Springtime for Hitler,
extolling the Fuhrer's many virtues, and planning for his triumphant
return to power as he rises from the ashes. Brooks actually got the idea
from real life:
for a producer who wore a chicken fat-stained homburg and a black alpaca
coat. He pounced on little old ladies and would make love to them. They
gave him money for his plays, and they were so grateful for his
attention. Later on there were a couple of guys who were doing flop
after flop and living like kings. A press agent told me, 'God forbid
they should ever get a hit, because they'd never be able to pay off the
backers!' I coupled the producer with these two crooks and - BANG! -
there was my story," he told The Guardian in 2013.
turned the idea into a movie script starring Gene Wilder and Zero
Mostel in 1968, and brought it to Broadway as a musical in 2001
with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, winning 12 Tony Awards.
Max and Leo run into trouble when Broadway audiences can't get enough of Springtime for Hitler,
with all its singing Hitlers, dancing Nazi showgirls, cross-dressers
and a big, buxom Swedish blond bombshell. How do they get out of this
fix? You'll have to come to The Concord Players' production to find out.
The Players' production is directed by Brian Kelly, who brought
down the house at 51 Walden in 2014 with his production of Spamalot,
another Mel Brooks masterpiece. He's joined by an ace team: Katie
Alexander for choreography, music direction by Lee Condakes, and Corinne
Kinsman and Linda McConchie, producers.
The Producers opens on Concord Players' stage at 51 Walden on April 28 and runs through May 13. Tickets and info: concordplayers
The annual meeting of The Concord
Players will be held on Sunday, March 19 at 7 p.m. at 51 Walden.
Join us for refreshments, updates on the year, voting for new officers,
announcement of the slate of plays for the coming year, and a little
entertainment. Hope to see you there!
THE PLAYERS LOSE TWO FRIENDS
Bob Carter, 94, lifelong Concord resident and
the Town's 1994 Honored Citizen, died Feb. 15. He was a U.S. Navy
veteran of WW II. Contributions in his memory may be made to Louisa May
Alcott's Orchard House, P.O. Box 343, Concord, MA 01742. For the online
guestbook, please visit
For The Players, Bob played Howie Newsome in Our Town in 1985 and played two smaller parts in Mad Woman of Chaillot as well as helping with props. Bob co-produced Kiss Me Kate with Jack Sweet, and was backstage again for the EMACT production of Private Wars.
He enjoyed being a guide at the Alcott Orchard House. He often thought
of playing on Broadway as a character actor, but turned to business
instead, managing the Carter Furniture Company.
passed away peacefully at the age of 101, on February 21, 2017. She was
an extraordinary seamstress of drapes and slipcovers to costumes for
The Concord Players. A memorial service will be held at the South Acton
Congregational Church, 35 School St. Acton, on March 18, 2017 at 11:00
Chuck Holleman will appear in Mrs. Warren's Profession at Nashoba. Andrew Harrington, Lida McGirr and Ian Dowell are in Hay Fever at Cannon Theatre. Eric Linebarger and Rachel Rabinowitz are in Getting Sarah Married at Burlington Players.
MARCH EVENTS AT 51 WALDEN
March 4, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. The Concord Band
Winter Concert: Shades of Blue. Saxophone soloist David Southard
performs Blue Sterling by William McManus. Also on the program is An
Ellington Portrait arr. by Werle and Bright Colored Dances by Buckley.
Admission is free, donations gratefully accepted.
March 11, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. Club 51 with jazz
group Little Sister, Janet Casey, vocalist. Rhythm and blues for
listening and dancing. Table seating, cash bar and refreshments. Tickets
$25, available on-line. This is a special event to benefit the
operation of 51 Walden. Call 978 369-7911 for more information.
March 18, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
Balkan Music Night.
Concert and Balkan Dance Party featuring more than twenty bands and
choruses from the greater Boston area. For tickets, call the Folk Arts
Center of New England 781 438-4387 or visit facone
March 31 and April 1, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
Concord Orchestra Spring Concert: Thoreau Bicentennial. World premier of
Eric Sawyer's new work Civil Disobedience, narrated by David Gullette.
Also on the program is Hoffer's Piano Concerto with Randall Hodgkinson.
Tickets are $25/$10. Call 978 369-4967 or buy on-line