We saw “The Producers”, the Hebrew show.
Bottom line: It was crap. Go see the movie instead.
I wasn’t disappointed from the show because my expectations were rock
bottom. Everything i suspected will happen indeed happened.
The 2 English versions I saw at LA and London were marvelous, I even have soundtrack which i hear over and over again.
I think the play script itself is brilliant, and that Mel Brooks is a
genius, and i would love to meet him and tell that to him in person
(and be the gazzilionth person who does).
Like a lot of the stuff Israeli do, the production of this show was sub standard.
For example, The Music:
As I foresaw, there wasn’t an orchestra at the theater. One of the
greatest aspects of this show, was its full size orchestral score,
which in this case was replaced with a midi-like synthesized
playback. It’s a shame, if you do a playback, you can at least
hire an orchestra (we have some very good ones here) and play the score
and don’t use synthesizers. Being a perfectionist musicophil it was
really annoying hearing those fake violins and trumpets. I can make the
same sounds with my PC. They tried to “cover it up ” and deceive the
audience by putting a synchronized video recording of a person waving
his hands in the air as if he was a conductor and the orchestra was in
the basement. I’m sure they managed to fool some of the fools in the
audience. Not me.
Casting and acting:
Only one of the roles was actually casted and portrayed well, Franz
Lipkin, who was played by Eli Gorenstien. He did a good job. I can’t
say the same for most of the other cast members, especially the leading
role of Max Bialostock played by Shlomo Baraba. Talk about over acting
there ! Seesh…
why did they bother translate it to Hebrew if they removed 90% of the
jokes and those that they kept were said in English by the actors
This is the 4th incarnation of the producers I saw and the worse so far.
From before I saw the show i thought to myself : How the hell someone
translate a song called “I want to be a producer” to Hebrew ?
The answer, in this case, was you don’t. You keep the word “Producers” in English.
It’s a shame, because another one of the strength this play has its in
original production was its Mel Brooksie sense of humor which was
As I’ve seen more then a few examples when Israelis try to do something
professional, the lack the nessecery finish that makes a difference
between something spectacular and something mundane.
It was obvious they cut too many corners and removed too many stuff
from the show and replaced it with “cardboard figures”, for example the
step dancing by the old ladies and their walking carts. The only reason
i can see for why you would get such a nice bit from the show is budget
reason and lack of rehearsal time.
The show’s black humor was diluted to the level where you can’t almost
taste it. the deep satire that this show was trying to convey and
In the original show there’s a big scene where you see a the cast form
this huge nazi swastika and reflected with an array of mirrors to the
audience, it didn’t exist here.
They changed the name for the show within the show from “Springtime for
Hitler” to “Sing a song for he fuhrer” and they avoided even mentioning
Hilter’s name ! When ever they would, Baraba would spit and curse. It
was a complete breach of character.
This version of the show lost it’s validity with the loss of it’s
strong black humor, now instead being a satire it was a weak not too
funny comedy, and it was truly reflected on the amount of laughs from
the audience. I remember sitting in the shows i saw abroad and the
audience was laughing their asses off ! Here, there was utter silence
most of the show, not to mention the lack of standing ovations which
the other shows received, I probably wasn’t the only one that thought
this show wasn’t as successful as it’s predecessors abroad.
Last side note: I can’t imagine how you can successfully tell a
holocaust joke (i know a few) without mentioning Nazis, Hitler or the
holocaust. Try to tell a black joke (joke about someone black)
without mentioning the fact he’s black: “Well now, a priest, a rabbi
and this other person, who is
slightly darker colored and might be African American, walk in to a
bar..”. It doesn’t work. It might be more politically corrent but it
doesn’t work. Neither did this version of the show. Black humor needs
to be black, not a shade of grey.
Bottom line, paraphrased: The movie “The Produces” comes to theaters in
a month. I’m going to watch it. I suggest you do to, and don’t bother
with the show. I’ll probably buy the DVD too.