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The comic tour-de-force coming to the McKenna Stage

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04/09/2013

NEW PALTZ – The hilarious Tony Award-winning musical The Producers, written by Mel Brooks, will be performed at the State University of New York at New Paltz. The show, under the direction of Jack Wade, with musical direction by Stephen Kitsakos and choreography by Joe Langworth, is being produced by the Department of Theatre Arts.

Performance dates are 8 p.m. April 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 and 2 p.m. April 21 and 28 at in McKenna Theatre on the New Paltz campus.

With a cast of 23 actors and a 12-piece orchestra, The Producers is faithful to Brooks’ skewering and satirizing the world of commercial Broadway producers, directors, actors, writers, and designers. The show is set in the late 1950s/early 1960s when the Golden Age of the Broadway musical was coming to an end, being replaced by guitar-oriented rock & roll musical scores. The show runs rampant with a delightful concept: What if you picked a show that was so terrible, awful, and insulting, guaranteeing a “flop,” but you collected more money from your investors than the actual cost of the show? When the show closes, you tell your investors that they lost their investment and hop a plane to Rio with a cool million. The Producers presents the genius of Brooks through witty parody, sexy showgirls, and raucous humor in a satire of political correctness.

The musical score is toe-tapping and Brooks, as composer and lyricist, pays homage to the great Broadway sound of the 1950s, parodying such composers as Frank Loesser, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter, Jules Styne, and Leonard Bernstein.

The episodic nature of the story and the theatrical locations create an authentic New York City theatre world that incorporates an enormous turntable, projections, and more than 200 costumes.

Wade is chair of the Department of Theatre Arts at New Paltz. He designs lighting and scenery and directs in the department’s Mainstage season. His professional lighting designs have been seen Off-Broadway and in regional theatres across the country.

Kitsakos, musical director and the theatre department’s assistant chair, has collaborated on many musical and non-musical productions.

Choreographer Langworth has sung and danced in numerous musicals on Broadway and is a member of the department’s contingent faculty.

The cast is joined by Joseph Paparone in a cameo appearance. Paparone is a 43-year veteran of the department and a seasoned actor who has appeared on stage, film, and television. The show’s principal designers are Ken Goldstein, set design; Andrea Varga, costume design; and graduating senior Lauren Miller, lighting design. Sound design is provided by alumni Dale Bigall (‘06) and Patrick Kiernan, (‘12).

Ticket prices for The Producers are $20 general admission; $18 seniors, SUNY Faculty/Staff, students; $10 SUNY New Paltz students. Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office located in Parker Theatre. Call the Box Office at 845-257-3880 or reserve online now at: www.newpaltz.edu/theatre

For additional information, call 845-257-3936.

The Producers (Left to Right), Ian Brodsky as Leo Bloom, Brittany Martel as Ulla, Michael O'Connor as Max Bialystock