‘The Producers’: One big operation | VailDaily.com

‘The Producers’: One big operation

Kris Sabel
Vail, CO, Colorado
AE Kris Sabel 12-28-06 KH

Editor’s note: Director’s Corner is a weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.

Things are heating up at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. Tickets went on sale for the winter season Monday and surpassed all previous first-day sales in the history of the Center. This means you need to buy your tickets early! Particularly if you are interested in many of the big name concerts and Broadway shows we are fortunate to be presenting this season.

We had a late season confirmation I want to be sure you know about. Grammy-winning bluesman Keb’ Mo’ will be back for two nights on Jan. 23 and 24. Always a Vail Valley draw, Keb’ Mo’ has sold out his past four concerts at the Vilar Center. When his 2007 engagement sold out, we had to turn away about 400 people at the door. This year, we’re fortunate to present him in back-to-back shows.

The winter season kicks off next week with two musical comedies. On Monday, we present the national Broadway tour of “The Producers,” and a family presentation of “Seussical: The Musical” on Nov. 30.

Bringing “The Producers” here in early November is an experiment for us. We typically only present big Broadway shows during the peak season. But the opportunity to share one of the most popular Broadway shows of all time with our community was something we could not pass up.

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“The Producers” is the critically acclaimed musical comedy adapted by Mel Brooks from his 1968 film of the same name. The story concerns two theatrical producers who scheme to get rich by overselling interests in a Broadway flop, based on the premise that they can make more money on a flop than a hit. Complications arise when the show unexpectedly turns out to be successful, with hilarious plot twists along the way.

The humor of “The Producers” is accessible to a wide range of audiences, though is not appropriate for children younger than age 13. The show was a huge hit in New York, winning 12 Tony Awards, the most ever for any show in history. The original Broadway production starred Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, and broke the record for the largest single-day box-office gross in theatre history.

Typically these tours travel in 3 to 5 semitrailers, which have to be unloaded, set up and taken down all in one day. We will provide a crew of 47 people to run this operation. Our crew will start around 7 a.m. on the day of the show and likely close the door on the last truck around 2 a.m. the next day. The scope of the production is the same for the other performances in our Broadway series this year, which includes the musical adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” “Hairspray” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The opportunity to see these shows in our intimate theatre is a rare treat and I hope you will join us for the music, the laughter and the fun.

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