Local version of ‘The Producers’ set for stage

February 16, 2017 GMT

Stageworks Theatre will be showcasing a show that is a vintage comedy film from the 1960s. The theatre, previously founded as Houston Family Arts Center Community Theatre and Actors Academy, is in production for The Producers which will open in March.

It’s the fifth production of the season for the theatre and will run March 17-April 9 on the Garza Mainstage, 10760 Grant Road, Houston.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at stageworkstx.org or by phone at 281-587-6100. Special pricing is available for groups of 10 or more.

The show, The Producers, is originally from Mel Brooks’ classic cult comedy film. The original film is about a down-and-out producer who finds himself trading favors with older women. The producer and is persuaded by his new accountant that if he found investors for a new production that turned into a flop, the down-and-out producer could legally keep all the extra money. The idea leads the two men to create a bad play, titled Springtime for Hitler.

“During the current political divide in this country, Americans both red-blooded and blue-blooded flock to performances of shows like The Producers to be entertained and educated,” said Michael Montgomery, artistic director. “While we chose this show, long before this political season, we knew that no matter whom the current president would turn out to be, our audiences would be delighted by the spectacle of outrageousness that so defines the social commentary of Mel Brooks.”

Theatre representatives hope that those who go and see the show can take a break from the seriousness of life. The theatre believes that with the current political climate, a show such as The Producers will allow for people to take time to laugh.

“A Mel Brooks’ production also reminds us that sometimes, you’ve got to take a break from the seriousness of life and just laugh! It cures the soul. Otherwise, our natural instinct wouldn’t be able to resist laboring in all of the negativity outside the walls of a theatre,” said Dru Wiser, director of The Producers. “We want our audience to simply laugh at themselves and at some of life’s insanity, before heading back into the real world to face it all for real. After all, what is not to like about in this show-laughing at toe tap-dancing Nazi’s and a sequin-laced, gay Hitler!”

The theatre, which produces eight original or established theatrical works which includes dramas, comedies, and musicals each season, has a mission is to enrich the community through a variety of theatre and arts education. The theatre seeks to entertain, inspire, challenge, and educate with positive values.

Stageworks Theatre is currently looking for actors to audition for The Wizard of Oz. The production will be the final show for the 2016-17 season. Early auditions will be held March 18, open auditions will be held April 1, and video auditions for children should be submitted by May 15.

“We are looking for larger than life actors who can perform on a big stage. This is a musical with many speaking parts and with a mix of traditional Oz fun and high intensity choreography,” Montgomery said. “We are performing at a 500-seat venue at the Berry Center in northwest Houston and will play to nearly 5,000 fans over the course of three weekends.”

Those who represent the theatre value the importance of having the theatre in the community. Directors and producers believe it is a culture that includes many people. Charter schools and mother-daughter organizations also volunteer their time to the theatre. Additionally, the theatre provides partnerships to high schools through their main stage, which provides advisory services, costume, and sets.

“What’s important about Stageworks Theatre is that it’s actually the community’s theatre. With very few employees and a lot of volunteers, we have a very special culture, one of inclusion. Many theatres around town provide a very niche type of programming, while we strive to have a very broad set of offerings on our main stage, ranging from shows such as The Elephant Man, to The Producers to As You Like It, to The Wizard of Oz,” Montgomery said. “I’m also very proud of the increased outreach that we are achieving with youth in the area. We believe that we are making people more self-aware and more aware of the world around them, by participating as a patron, a volunteer or a student at our community theatre.

Stageworks Theatre

Address: 10760 Grant Road Houston, Texas 77070

Phone: 281-587-6100

Online: http://www.stageworkshouston.org/the-wizard-of-oz-auditions