Okay, one last scene from the Chicago world premiere tryout of Mel Brooks' The Producers. It's the "Keep It Gay" song. This isn't among my favorite in the show, I find it too much a repetitious one-joke number, but it's lively and works fine in the musical.
(Honestly, if they wanted to cut the movie for time, they could have cut this -- it doesn't advance the plot an inch, nor does it even remotely develop the character of anyone. But I'm sure it tested well. It's so over-the-top that it adds a vibrancy.)
In the scene, Max and Leo have just secured the rights to the show from Franz Liebken and go to see director Roger DeBris and his "common law assistant" Carmen Ghia to convince the hack director to work on their show. Both Gary Beach (who I posted here the other day singing "Springtime for Hitler") and Roger Bart as the assistant each subsequently got Tony nominations for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Beach won.
The reason I decided to include it here though is because it's the best footage of a full scene from the show and also, happily, has a lot of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick together, even if it's not them in song. And besides, the scene itself is great fun -- and seeing it with the laughing audience is all the better and that's what the whole evening was like.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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