logoIn the Wings
The Newsletter of The Concord Players
March 2017                                          Robert Runck, Editor

He 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 aisles.
   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:
"I worked 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.
He 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
-Linda McConchie
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!

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.
   Gladys Foreman 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 a.m.

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 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. The 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

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