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"The Producers" Richard Dreyfuss withdraws through injury, Nathan Lane takes over
Richard Dreyfuss has withdrawn from the UK stage run of Mel Brooks' Broadway hit musical The Producers because of injury. The role of Max Bialystock will now be filled by US actor Nathan Lane, who played the part when the musical opened on Broadway, winning a Tony award.
A statement says, "Mr. Dreyfuss is unable to continue performing the role of ‘Max Bialystock’ in the show at present, due to the effect of the physical demands of the show upon pre-existing injuries. Following his surgery for a herniated disc in January and the reoccurrence of a shoulder injury, it has become increasingly difficult for Mr. Dreyfuss to fulfil the rigours of the role, and it is with regret that both parties have had to make this decision....The producers are grateful to Mr. Dreyfuss for his artistry and all his work on their behalf, and hope that he will be able to rejoin the company when his physical condition permits. "
Nathan Lane, who making is West End debut, originated the role of ‘Max Bialystock’ on Broadway and will be playing that role when the film version of the play begins shooting in February. He has agreed to join the company on a temporary basis until 8 January 2005.
The Producers, will still open as planned at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane Theatre on 9 Nov 2004, following previews from 22 oct 04, booking to 23 April 2005.
The cast now includes: Lee Evans (Leo Bloom), Nathan Lane (Max Bialystock), Nicolas Colicos (Franz Liebkind), James Dreyfus (Carmen Ghia), Conleth Hill (Roger De Bris), and Leigh Zimmerman (Ulla).
The Producers opened on Broadway in April 2001 and quickly became Broadway's hottest ticket. It went on to win a record 12 Tony Awards in 2001, when it starred Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane.
The show has book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, and music and lyrics by Mel Brooks. It is directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman. The design is by Robin Wagner, costumes by William Ivey Long, lighting by Peter Kaczorowski, sound by Steve C Kennedy and orchestration by Doug Besterman.
A couple of guys come up with a scheme to produce the outrageous Broadway musical ever. They think they can take off with all their investors' money-but when the curtain goes up on their gigantic singing, dancing spectacular, they realize their plan has gone ridiculously wrong.