Breckenridge Backstage to kick off summer season with ‘The Producers’ | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge Backstage to kick off summer season with ‘The Producers’

Summit Daily staff report
News@summitdaily.com

Dubbed "A Season of Passion," Breckenridge Backstage Theatre kicks off its summer season today with the opening of Broadway's most celebrated musical, "The Producers."

Winner of a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards — taking home the hardware in every category for which it was nominated — "The Producers" continues on various dates through Aug. 6. The musical is comic gold and serves as a kind of love letter to classic Broadway shows created by Mel Brooks, legendary director of "Blazing Saddles" and "Young Frankenstein."

The musical is based on the original Academy Award-winning film written and directed by Brooks. It focuses on the story of the washed-up Broadway producer Max Bialystock and his nebbish accountant, Leo Bloom, who together devise the ultimate scam to bilk Broadway investors out of millions of dollars by producing a show so awful and offensive, it can't not fail.

The only problem is the show becomes a hit, sending Leo and Max scrambling.

The original film featured Broadway giant Zero Mostel and made a star out of Gene Wilder in one of his first roles on the big screen. When the stage version opened in New York, "The Producers" broke the record for the largest single-day box office in theater history, taking in more than $3 million.

The New York Post has called the show "a cast-iron, copper-bottomed, super duper, mammoth old-time Broadway hit!" While Variety described it as "a rip-roaring, gut-busting, knee-slapping, aisle-rolling good time."

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Breckenridge Backstage's production will star Scott Rathbun as Max Bialystock and Tim Howard as Leo Bloom. Rathbun recently appeared as Amos Hart in last summer's sold-out hit show "Chicago." Other roles he's played include Baloo in "The Jungle Book" and Dave in "The Full Monty."

Howard was featured in the Town Hall Arts Center production and is reprising his Henry-nominated role as Leo Bloom. Howard returns this season to Breckenridge Backstage after playing the lovable lothario Kodaly in "She Loves Me." Howard also played the Prince Herbert track in the huge summer hit from three years ago, "Spamalot."

They will be joined by Colby Dunn, Brian Jackson, Christopher Willard and Josh Rigo. Dunn recently appeared as blind librarian Sarah in "The Toxic Avenger," and plays Ula, Max and Leo's curvacious secretary.

Jackson makes his Breckenridge Backstage Theatre premiere, reprising his Boulder's Dinner Theatre role as Franz Liebkind, the daft author of the play Max and Leo produce, the hilariously offensive "Springtime for Hitler."

Willard, the theater's artistic director, played famed Broadway director Roger DeBris in the Town Hall production and will reprise the role once more. Rigo, last seen in Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's "Hairspray," plays Carmen Ghia, Roger's common-law secretary. An up-and-coming award-winning young actor, Rigo will also play Alex More in the one-man comedy, "Buyer and Cellar," opening July 6 in Breckenridge.

The incredibly energetic and versatile ensemble of "The Producers" features Barret Harper, Stephanie Hesse and Jessica Hindsley. The remaining ensemble — all newcomers to the Backstage — play Broadway theatregoers, little old ladies, Roger's production team and prisoners of love — including Kaitlyn Althoff, Rose Hughes, Mary McGroary, Cole Mitchell, Alissa Robinson, Eli Stewart and Connor Sullivan.

Robert Michael Sanders, who directed last year's sleeper hit "Clarence Darrow," directs. Sanders, an Equity performer, will be seen as Dad in Backstage's Labor Day production of "Billy Elliot. "

Trent Hines is the musical director, Jessica Hindsley choreographer, and Tom Quinn is in charge of sound and projection design.

Donna Debreceni is creating musical tracks. Terry Green is handling props. Lexi Hilbert is stage manager. The show is presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International Inc., of New York.

"The Producers" opens today and alternates throughout the summer, closing Aug. 6. All shows are at the new Breckenridge Theater, 121 S. Ridge St. in Breckenridge. Tiered seating/pricing is available.

For tickets, call Breckenridge Creative Arts at 970-547-3100, go to BreckCreate.org, or buy them in person at the Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge Welcome Center or Breckenridge Theater, one and a half hours before showtime. The Producers is rated PG-13 with some adult language and suggestive situations and humor.

For information and to learn more about Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's Summer Season, call Kim at 970-485-2164 or go to BackstageTheatre.org.

if you go

What: “The Producers”

When: Champagne opening at 6:30 p.m. tonight with more shows on various dates and times through Aug. 6

Where: Breckenridge Theater, 121 S. Ridge Street in Breckenridge.

Info: Tiered-seating at various prices is available. For tickets, call Breckenridge Creative Arts at 970-547-3100, go to BreckCreate.org or stop by the Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge Welcome Center or Breckenridge Theater in person at least an hour-and-a-half before showtime.