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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 19, 2007

'The Producers,' The Tony-Winning Mel Brooks Musical, Comes To Hancher Feb. 6-8

"The Producers," the Mel Brooks musical comedy that set the all-time record for number of Tony Awards, will come to the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium for three performances -- at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Feb 6-8.

Based on the Academy Award-winning 1968 film written and directed by Brooks, and starring Zero Mostel and UI alumnus Gene Wilder, "The Producers" is the story of a washed-up Broadway producer and his nerdish accountant, who devise the ultimate scam: Sell several hundred percent of shares in a new musical to rich, attention-starved old ladies, and then produce a show so awful and offensive it can't help but fail, so the investors will never have to be repaid.

But the resulting atrocity, "Springtime for Hitler," written by an addled Nazi, is so over-the-top that it is taken for parody and becomes a huge hit, landing the producers in jail.

When Brooks resurrected the story for the Broadway musical stage, even writing all the songs, he wisely avoided over-selling the shares. The show, staged by Susan Stroman, is still running and both audiences and critics have loved it. Ben Brantley, writing in the New York Times, called the show, "a sublimely ridiculous spectacle that will leave you delirious," and the New York Post's veteran critic Clive Barnes proclaimed it, "a cast-iron, super-duper mammoth, old-time Broadway hit."

The show, originally starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, captured a dozen Tony Awards and 15 nominations.

And the raves continue on the road in a show produced by Brooks and starring Jason Simon as Max Bialystock and Austin Owen as Leo Bloom. Brooks delayed the tour for a year, while the new "Producers" film was being shot, so that he could personally oversee the development of the touring show.

"The Producers" in Hancher is supported by Terry and Johanna Abernathy; Everybody's Whole Foods; Cambridge Place Apartments, Phyllis Miller, Owner; OPN Architects, Inc.; Phelan, Tucker, Mullen, Walker, Tucker & Gelman LLP; and Sheraton Iowa City Hotel through the University of Iowa Foundation, with media support from the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Remaining tickets for all three performances are $52/47; UI student $46.80/42.30; senior citizen and youth $52/47.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <>.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073; cell: 310-430-1013;

PHOTOS are available at