Other NJ News

How to Insult Everyone and Get Away with It: Opening Night Review of THE PRODUCERS at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn

43903ce94fbd9d91dcfb_DSC_0119.jpg
Opening night performance of The Producers on Sunday at the Paper Mill Playhouse. (L to R): Kevin Pariseau, Michael Kostroff, David Josefsberg, Ashley Spencer Credits: Jonathan Sym
706f2cf9560a771ea71a_DSC_0083.jpg
Ashley Spencer Credits: Jonathan Sym
1894021961ad77263d25_DSC_0109.jpg
Cast of The Producers Credits: Jonathan Sym
bec39698a6ece42cd38c_DSC_0094__1_.jpg
(L to R): Michael Kostroff and David Josefsberg Credits: Jonathan Sym
6ccb61066c8456a25178_DSC_0064.jpg
Cast of The Producers Credits: Jonathan Sym
fb220225bed3a802e346_DSC_0107__1_.jpg
(L to R); Mark Price, Kevin Parizeau, Michael Kostroff, David Josefsberg, Ashley Spencer
2c9de4043767f1c28c53_DSC_0103__1_.jpg
6f5ea2aa58094bd3c24c_DSC_0124.jpg
98c8532142f31d818dad_DSC_0100.jpg
Michael Kostroff Credits: Jonathan Sym
b0c7d2ddfe03dbe42f3c_ab4a6558f5930b253df8_DSC_0163.jpg
Michael Kostroff (Max Bialystock) Credits: Jonathan Sym
6f3d00c77610225a9d05_8821bda378c60c5138a6_unspecified-1.jpeg
Ashley Spencer (Ulla) and David Josefsberg (Leo Bloom) Credits: Karen E. Hughes
c47989bfbc4fc39d7598_01b106251e368b20473d_unspecified-5.jpeg
Kevin Pariseau (Roger De Bris) Credits: Karen E. Hughes
18dfc16da7c4ec5b4e09_fc6ce5d2c1e08d828b97_Screen_Shot_2016-10-03_at_6.04.12_PM.jpg
Mark Price (Carmen Ghia) Credits: Karen E. Hughes
8169d3dbdbc18b9063bb_1c5ce248bdf4f583fa48_DSC_0135.jpg
John Treacy Egan (Franz Liebkind) Credits: Jonathan Sym
4f3deb9fb3d198056d13_e5bbb5b1055543a2641a_unspecified-14.jpeg
(L to R): Bill Burns (Choreographer) and Don Stephenson (Director) Credits: Karen E. Hughes
c1a8241dcecf5587ac36_10dbc8eef9475aebb63c_unspecified-2.jpeg
Brad Oscar, earned a Tony Award nomination (Franz Liebkind) in the original Broadway production of The Producers. Oscar is also featured in the original Broadway recording of The Producers. Credits: Karen E. Hughes
0b9455e1f0fb4a8df36e_a78a26cab5655f34c185_unspecified-3.jpeg
(L to R): Michael Kostroff, Ashley Spencer, David Josefsberg Credits: Karen E. Hughes
a5e5c69591bad216ac14_638c375b7630fabe150e_unspecified-13.jpeg
Madeleine Doherty, also a member of the original Broadway cast of The Producers Credits: Karen E. Hughes
b64f7a3fc69f1831867d_9eddb6dd1fee09a9e47c_unspecified-8.jpeg
(L to RI): John Treacy Egan and Michael Kostroff Credits: Karen E. Hughes
84757b718c5300e0d879_e13cc774949ea20a2a09_unspecified-8.jpeg
Laura Osnes, Tony Award nominee for The Bandstand. She was in both the Broadway and Paper Mill productions. Credits: Karen E. Hughes
7d0a5a69addb9d3674bf_3d7b65a408b8d5bcb680_unspecified-3.jpeg
John Jeffords gives an outstanding performance in one of the signature songs, Springtime for Hitler. Credits: Karen E. Hughes
271c22dfc47df2d1f5a3_064a0e42994487eb1429_unspecified.jpeg
(L to R): Kate Wesler and Kelly Peterson Credits: Karen E. Hughes
4920fa0f1894492ddf27_unspecified-4.jpeg
(L toR): Naomi Kakuk, John Jeffords, Tim Capodice, Jeffrey Johnson II and Jenny Laroche. Credits: Karen E. Hughes
6314d8b9a1fdb09a2be7_2f51fa48a17963494c2f_unspecified-5.jpeg
Jesse Carrey-Beaver, Brad Frenetic, Kate Wesler and Michael Biren Credits: Karen E. Hughes
70cac32f82ae15460f5a_839a992d052ad65663fc_unspecified-1.jpeg
Cast members of The Producers Credits: Karen E. Hughes
a9c4a04273ae1de842c9_DSC_0181__1_.jpg
(L to R): Gianna Grosso, Paper Mill Playhouse intern and Wesley Gelman, TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills intern Credits: Jonathan Sym
26a3e06535be2948e76d_DSC_0193.jpg
Dan Shea (third from left), GM of Charlie Brown's in Millburn, with the cast of The Producers at the opening night party. Credits: Jonathan Sym
ab063ecc67500f176118_DSC_0167.jpg
(L to R): Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artist Director and Todd Schmidt, Managing Director of the Paper Mill Playhouse. Credits: Jonathan Sym
78a7888f91b57a004276_DSC_0190__1_.jpg
Liz McKendry Credits: Jonathan Sym
918441c8c61cec43a081_DSC_0171.jpg
Opening night cast party of The Producers at Charlie Brown's Fresh Grill in Millburn. Credits: Jonathan Sym
e27bcb3140cd2d4245d4_DSC_0196.jpg
Opening night cast party of The Producers at Charlie Brown's Fresh Grill in Millburn. Credits: Jonathan Sym
4bc8e3c4b9d76823d685_DSC_0198.jpg
Opening night cast party of The Producers at Charlie Brown's Fresh Grill in Millburn. Credits: Jonathan Sym
b1ef2225cb454835e216_DSC_0199.jpg
Opening night cast party of The Producers at Charlie Brown's Fresh Grill in Millburn. Credits: Jonathan Sym
2189a96419c8adf3e975_DSC_0187.jpg
Opening night cast party of The Producers at Charlie Brown's Fresh Grill in Millburn. Credits: Jonathan Sym
47f4fd203c3485f97b93_IMG_6795.jpg
Opening night cast party of The Producers at Charlie Brown's Fresh Grill in Millburn. Credits: Jonathan Sym
e1e1e9b0b10ca2246198_DSC_0203.jpg
Kate Wesler Credits: Jonathan Sym
43903ce94fbd9d91dcfb_DSC_0119.jpg

MILLBURN, NJ – What do you get when you to put together dancing Nazi Storm Troopers, a gay director and a greedy Jewish theater producer from the Bronx? Add to that an oversexed immigrant secretary from Sweden, a “Black Irish” cop and the Village People. No, it’s not an acid-laced Halloween party in bizarro world or a combined campaign rally of Trump and Clinton supporters. It’s opening night of The Producers at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ.

The ingeniously clever, Tony Award-winning musical that insults, without really insulting, had its opening performance last night at the Paper Mill Playhouse followed by a cast party at Charlie Brown’s Fresh Grill in downtown Millburn.  The deliberately raucous and raunchy musical was refreshing to watch and thoroughly entertaining, particularly since so much social commentary these days have gone over to the dark side of politically correctness.  The no holds barred script and the ever so talented cast poked fun at practically everyone and every institution, even the Paper Mill (you’ll have to see for yourself).

Those who have seen the musical that opened on Broadway in 2001 with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick or the 1968 satirical comedy film starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder won’t be disappointed as the essence of Mel Brooks’ manic imagination and genius remained wonderfully in tact.  The show also retained Paper Mill veteran Susan Stroman’s fantastic original direction and choreography, where she won two of the record-breaking 12 Tonys won by the musical in 2001.

Sign Up for E-News

This Broadway classic tells the tale of Max Bialystock (Michael Kostroff), a struggling theater producer and his protégé/accountant Leo Bloom (David Josefsberg) as they raise $2 million from old, sex starved ladies, to produce the worst musical ever to be seen on Broadway, with the hope of failing so miserably that they could walk away with the oversubscribed investments of the show’s backers. 

The two manage to secure the exclusive rights to the worst script they could find written by former Nazi Franz Liebkind (John Treacy Egan) and convince the flamboyantly gay and worst director to have ever lived Roger De Bris (Kevin Pariseau) to direct.  With script in hand and help from Roger De Bris’s “common law assistant” Carmen Ghia (Mark Price) and Max’s secretary Ulla (Ashley Spencer), the motely crew are well on their way to produce the greatest fiasco on Broadway. Unfortunately, their ridiculous and offensive musical, Springtime for Hitler, becomes a hit!

It seems nearly every scene is filled with song and dance.  Under the brilliant direction of Don Stephenson and amazing choreography of Bill Burns, the multi-talented cast pulls off every number with seamless effort and as if they’ve been doing it for years.  In fact, Michael Kostroff has done The Producers for years and several times, seven times to be exact.  He brings incredible energy to the role of Max. The most amazing evidence of this, if I had to pick just one scene, is when he lands in prison and recants to himself his journey there.  Evoking the same emotions from previous scenes Kostroff performs a trailer of sorts, combining lines from many earlier scenes into one. Kostroff treated us to a Tony Award-winning performance.

David Josefsberg is new to The Producers, performing the role of Leo Bloom for the first time, though you wouldn’t know it.  The Broadway and Paper Mill veteran made Leo an empathetic, quirky and funny character, someone we can all connect with emotionally. Can’t get his “I want to be a producer” song out of my head.  By the way, Josefsberg is a local boy too. He lives in South Orange!

Ashley Spencer certainly has “got it” and “flaunts it” with a loveable style and undeniable charm.  Playing Ulla Inga Hansen Benson Yansen Tallen Hallen Svaden Swanson (and that’s just the first name), you couldn’t keep your eyes off her when this formally trained ballet dancer took to the stage.

The crazy, Nazi screenwriter Franz Liebkind who wrote “Springtime for Hitler” is played by John Treacy Egan, a five-year veteran of the Broadway company and who has played several parts in past productions including Franz, Max and Roger.  Incredible voice and convincingly funny, especially when he’s on crutches and has a Lugar in his hand.

By far the most hilarious and witty pair to take the stage is Kevin Pariseau and Mark Price playing the roles of Roger De Bris and Carmen Ghia, respectively.  The one-liners and comebacks kept the entire audience in stitches; I haven’t laughed that hard at a show in years.  Pariseau’s costume resembling the Chrysler Building showing his off his hairy, unshaved legs; Price’s unforgettable hand gesture when going off stage and his unique gait were priceless.

Obvious credit for the popularity of The Producers goes certainly to its creator and comedic legend Mel Brooks.  However, what made the experience at the Paper Mill so especially wonderful and set it apart from every production of The Producers I’ve seen is the unique collaboration of new and veteran actors of the show, and even some from the original company. This was Paper Mill’s first-ever production of The Producers and they’ve certainly put their personal touch on this Broadway classic.  It truly is a CAN’T MISS show.  BRAVO!

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

North Plainfield/Green Brook/Watchung

Somerset Regional Animal Shelter Offering July Adoption Promotion for Cats/Kittens

July 10, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Regional Animal Shelter, in Bridgewater, is urgently looking for homes for its cats and kittens.

According to a release from the shelter, the population surges throughout the summer during kitten breeding season, and so the shelter is launching a special promotion to help increase cat and kitten adoptions. During the month of July, all cats and kittens that over ...

Do You Recognize These Dogs?

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Two dogs were found in Plainfield near the fire station on Central Avenue on Saturday. 

The dogs are currently with a family in South Plainfield.  If you recognize the dogs, please email TAPinto Plainfield at jpopper@tapinto.net.

3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ set to Celebrate Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

July 14, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

Exchange Place and WTC PATH Stations to Close For Weekend Track Maintenance

JERSEY CITY, NJ - At least they waited until after the Fourth of July fireworks were over before starting.  

PATH stations at Exchange Place and the World Trade Center (WTC) will close at 11:59 p.m. this Friday, July 6, and remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday, July 9, to allow crews to transition to a new signal system being installed as part of the ...

Make the Call, Save a Life

July 10, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - There is much focus on preventative opioid abuse education. Rightfully so. However, the goal in addressing the opioid epidemic is saving lives. Even if that means just saving one life. While people are becoming increasingly aware of resources relating to rehabilitative services, support groups for friends and family of addicts, and training parents for signs of opioid and ...

Get Ready Warren: Fireworks, Food and Family Fun At Mt. Carmel Feast

July 13, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. – It’s time again for the annual Mt. Carmel Feast, a four-day festival full of food, music, games, rides, fireworks, and other family fun, located at Mt. Carmel Field in Berkeley Heights.

The fairgrounds will be open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, July 13 through Monday, July 16. Those four nights will include concerts, games, and ...

Somerset Regional Animal Shelter Offering July Adoption Promotion for Cats/Kittens

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Regional Animal Shelter, in Bridgewater, is urgently looking for homes for its cats and kittens.

According to a release from the shelter, the population surges throughout the summer during kitten breeding season, and so the shelter is launching a special promotion to help increase cat and kitten adoptions. During the month of July, all cats and kittens that over ...

A Guide to July 4: Fourth of July Fun Facts, a Video and Where to Find Independence Day Celebrations, Fireworks Displays

WARREN, NJ -  Independence Day 2018. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Thomas Jefferson penned words based on what he learned as a student of the enlightenment.  John Locke’s writings were ...

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

Obituaries

South Plainfield, NJ – Margaret (Pascazio) Butfiloski, 99, passed away peacefully on June 2, ...
Read more

Upcoming Events

Mon, July 30, 11:00 AM

Watchung Library, Watchung

Touch the Music

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_9d1f6a9a61fd7b576c97_18concertflyer

Thu, August 2, 4:00 PM

Milt Campbell Fields, Plainfield

Music in the Park @ Milt Campbell Field - Free ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Thu, August 2, 6:00 PM

North Plainfield Memorial Library, North Plainfield

Microwaves & Mini Fridges

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Wed, October 3, 7:00 PM

SCLSNJ's Warren Township Library branch, Warren

A History of the Old Presbyterian Graveyard in ...

Government Other

Viewing and Funeral Mass Set for 1-Year-Old Boy Killed in July 7 Crash, Fundraiser Established

July 16, 2018

RARITAN, NJ - A viewing for the 1-year-old Raritan boy killed on Anderson Street July 7 will be held this week at St. Ann Church in Raritan, according to an obituary released by the Bongiovi Funeral Home.

Matias Ortega-Rosales was killed on the evening of his first birthday when a vehicle hit two cars and then his family as he was being pushed in a stroller by his mother, Domitila Rosales.

Warren Native and Watchung Hills Grad Joins 26 Nations in Rim of the Pacific, RIMPAC 2018 Maritime Warfare Exercise

PEARL HARBOR, HI -  A 2012 Watchung Hills Regional High School graduate and Warren, New Jersey, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC). 

Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Vesper is an aviation maintenance administrationman attached to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 113, ...