Corn Stock Theatre begins its summer 2009 season with the Mel Brooks classic "The Producers" followed by a string of hits, including the Neil Simon farce "Rumors," the fairy tale musical "Once Upon A Mattress," the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1944 comedy "Harvey" and the parody of 1930s-style megamusicals "Dames at Sea."
"It’s quality theater in an unbelievable, amazing setting – it’s amazing setting to sit in the park under the oak trees," said Tim Wyman, who directs "The Producers," which opens Friday at the tent located in upper Bradley Park at 1700 N. Park Road. "When the night is just perfect and the play is good, there is just an excitement that is palpable. You can touch that. It’s just a unique theatrical experience that is unlike any other I’ve ever seen."
Originally a 1968 movie starrring Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel, "The Producers" is about a neurotic, mild-mannered accountant and a double-talking theatrical producer who concoct a scheme to get rich by producing the worst flop in theater history – a musical called "Springtime for Hitler."
Years later, a hit Broadway show starring Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane won 12 Tony Awards in 2001. The Broadway show in turn was transformed into a 2005 movie that also starred Broderick and Lane. Eventually, the show trickled down into the community theater circuit, including a production of "The Producers" last year by Eastlight Theatre.
"It doesn’t worry about being crude – if it’s crude, it’s funny," Wyman said. "It has a lot of vaudevillian humor attached to it, and I love that old style of vaudevillian humor that you see in this play."
"The Producers" runs at 7:30 p.m. daily at Corn Stock through June 6. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for students 18 and younger. Call 676-2196 to reserve tickets.
Other offerings for the summer season are:
? "Rumors": 7:30 p.m. June 19-27. Comedy directed by Grant Ward. Gunshot and coverup triggers fast-paced farce. Tickets: $11/adults; $9/students 18 and younger.
? "Once Upon a Mattress": 7:30 p.m. July 10-18. Musical directed by Cindy Hoey. The tale of the princess and the pea receives a musical twist in this Broadway classic. Tickets: $17/adults; $12/students 18 and younger.
? "Harvey": 7:30 p.m. July 31-Aug. 7. Comedy directed by Sean Howell. Man’s best friend is a giant, invisible rabbit. Tickets: $11/adults; $9/students 18 and younger.
? "Dames at Sea": 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21-29. Musical directed by Mike Reams. Parody of flashy, 1930s-style musicals. Tickets: $11/adults; $9/students 18 and younger.
Gary Panetta can be reached at 686-3132 or moc.ratsjpnull@attenapg.