REVIEW: Covedale’s ‘The Producers’ is a MUST SEE

To say you need to walk, no, RUN to see this show is an understatement. The whole cast is putting out 110% and the scenic design and costumes are spectacular. This is theatre done RIGHT. 

By Adam Schwartz

It is shocking, outrageous, insulting, and I loved every minute of it!

This line is both an apt description of the musical and also a line from The Producers. This musical comedy by Mel Brooks, who also wrote the original 1967 film, is currently live at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts from now until April 7th. To say you need to walk, no, RUN to see this show is an understatement. The whole cast is putting out 110% and the scenic design and costumes are spectacular. This is theatre done RIGHT. 

Getting into the plot of The Producers would be a disservice to those who wish to see this icon of broadway history. All I will say is, neo-*azis need not see the show (or any show for that matter). The comedy, though written in 2001 still holds up to this day. There are some stereotypes on display, primarily of the LGBTQIA+ Community, but there is nothing inherently offensive on display regarding any minority groups, etc. The show is a wild roller coaster of comedy, both physical and spoken. 

The Producers’s Cast

The cast of the show is phenomenal, performing show stopping song after show stopping song. Almost every single number involves at least 50% of the ensemble, save for a few solo/duet numbers (Greg Dastillung, Music Director.) The stand out performance is that of Jeff Richardson as Max Bialystock, the greedy, washed up, shyster Broadway producer. His physical comedy along with his line delivery is superb and I truly feels he embodies the role of the character. Both in the original film from ‘67 and the ‘01 production Max was played respectably by Zero Mostel and Nathan Lane. Richardson does not attempt to copy nor imitate either performance he takes the character of Max and makes it his own. 


Director Tim Perrino,and the production team creates a simplistic, but effective set ranging from the outside of the Shubert Theatre in NYC to the dingy office of Bialystock and Bloom. The choreography, by Cassidy Steele, is next level with tap dancing in multiple numbers, along with a very well choreographed walker tap dance number.  Overall the direction of the show is such that the acting and setting meld perfectly together with set pieces used for comedic bits, quick changes, and other fun and quirky moments. 

Now, is The Producers a show for everyone? There are references to the *azi party, long Swedish names, and the most offensive of them all, the IRS. That said, yes, The Producers is a show for everyone. While not suitable for younger audiences (parents use your own discretion), this show is a riot for mature audiences and the satire is so sharp and pointed that it might just fly over your head (I’ve loved this show since junior high and I still caught jokes tonight I have never caught before). Mel Brooks is at his finest here and it shows. There’s a reason this show won 12 Tony awards when it was running on Broadway (the most in Broadway history and yet to be beaten!). 

The Producers at Covedale
The Producers at Covedale


The Producers is currently at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts until April 7th. Performance time is a fast 2 hours and 45 minutes including intermission. Get your tickets by clicking this link or by calling 513-241-6550. Do not miss this show, you’ll regret it! 

The Cast – Jeff Richardson (Max Bialystock), Doug Berlon (Leo Bloom), Katie McCarthy (Ulla), Timothy Andrew Leonard (Franz), Ryan J. Poole (Rodger DeBris), Adam Jones (Carmen Ghia) and the fabulous ensemble:  Racheal Petranek, Emily Hilbrecht, Mollie Tagher, Ava Martin, Caroline Rakestraw, Emmie Brewer, Jordan Ward, Jenny Herdon, Christopher Wells, Tre Taylor, Gregory Shaffer, Jeff Centrello, Dylan Perez and Royce Louden

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