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The Producers

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The secondary characters, the ensemble, even the saluting pigeons in this touring production of Mel Brooks's musical outshine the leads. Bob Amaral's characterization of sleazy Broadway producer Max Bialystock wavers between pale imitations of his forerunner Nathan Lane and Rodney Dangerfield, and he often mumbles through his difficult songs. Andy Taylor is too handsome and confident to play shrinking-violet accountant Leo Bloom. Yet the supporting characters are spectacular, especially Ida Leigh Curtis as Swedish sexpot Ulla, Bill Nolte as Hitler worshipper Franz Liebkind, and Stuart Marland as supergay director Roger De Bris. Susan Stroman's choreography remains sharp, the story is funny, and the ensemble scenes are fantastic--if you can tolerate Amaral and Taylor's duets, you'll find this is still one heck of a show. Through 2/20: Tue 7:30 PM, Wed 2 and 7:30 PM, Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM. Sun 2/13, 2 PM. Sun 2/20, 1 PM. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, 312-902-1400. $25-$82.50.

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