Photo by Nikki Hilchey
Pictured: (L) Actor Andrew Ducharme, who plays Leo Bloom, and (R) Bill McColgan, who plays Broadway producer Max Bialystock.
PLATTSBURGH — The Adirondack Regional Theater troupe will perform the Tony award-winning musical “The Producers” at the Strand Theater this weekend.
The performances will mark the first time a musical has come to the Strand Center stage since its remodel in 2011, according to Thomas Lavin, artistic director of the Adirondack Regional Theater.
“The Producers” follows the story of Max Bialystock, a down-on-his-luck producer dreaming of writing a smash-hit. Bialystock meets Leo Bloom, an accountant, when he is forced to explore unconventional avenues to finance his efforts. Bloom and Bialystock plan a get-rich-quick scheme by producing a sure-fire flop.
Needless to say, things don’t work out as planned.
“My wife and I saw ‘The Producers’ on Broadway,” said Lavin. “We attended the last of preview shows before the musical first opened. My wife never laughed so hard.”
They knew then that the troupe would eventually perform the musical at home, Lavin said.
Ten years later, and the couple’s vision is coming true.
This weekend, the Adirondack Regional Theater will bring the record-breaking Mel Brooks hit to Plattsburgh.
In a typical production, the group would rehearse for anywhere from eight to 16 weeks before performing a musical.
This time around, the troupe only had six weeks.
“This is just how it worked out with the timing,” said Lavin. “If we had waited much longer, we’d have been running into holiday season.”
When asked if he was nervous about the troupe being the first to perform a musical on the Strand stage, Lavin said that there is pressure with every production.
“But I think the excitement outweighs the pressure in this case,” said Lavin.
“If you love ‘Young Frankenstein’ or ‘Blazing Saddles,’ you’ll love this musical,” Lavin said. “The Producer” was written by Mel Brooks, who created the classic films.
The musical has received more Tony Awards than any others in history, according to Lavin. Indeed, “The Producers” has won 12 awards, narrowly beating Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton,” the breakout hit of 2016.
The Adirondack Regional Theater, founded in 2000, has performed everywhere from vineyards to schools to fire stations during its tenure.
Sixteen years ago, they were one of three or four acting groups in the region.
Now, they are the only ones left, according to Lavin.
The group recently found a permanent home in the form of the ART house, a historic Victorian mansion in downtown Plattsburgh.
“Twenty years ago, we never thought any of this was possible,” said Lavin. “A home was unimaginable.”
The Adirondack Regional Theater will perform the Mel Brooks hit “The Producers” on Oct. 21, 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $15-30. For more information, visit adktheatre.com.