'The Producers': A LUMS Adaptation

    Written by: Maha Amjad
    Posted on: April 23, 2015 | Post your comment here Comments

    Leo imagining his life as a producer, with the girls and the glamour - Musical Comedy Play 'The Producers' by LUMS

    Leo imagining his life as a producer, with the girls and the glamour

    The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) recently organized the staging of a musical comedy, ‘The Producers’, an adaptation of the Oscar-winning script by Mel Brooks from the 1970s. The event was hosted by the LUMS Dramaline Society at the Ali Auditorium for three consecutive days, from April 17th to 19th.

    The play commences with a lively dance performance, with a lot of commotion and chaos. The lead character, Max Bialystock, is a Broadway producer down on his luck, with a major flop on his hands, and no help whatsoever from critics. A slick but aging man who lusts after older ladies, he aptly embodies the image of a corrupt producer. Max is seen struggling with his identity crisis, wanting to gain recognition but lacking the vision or the funds to do so.

    This is where his timid yet smart accountant, Leo Bloom, steps in. Much like Max, Leo also desires to make it big as a Broadway producer. After some calculations, Leo discovers that under the right circumstances, a producer could actually make more money with a flop as compared to a hit, and keep the remaining profits for himself. Max is immediately drawn to this cunning plan of Leo’s, and together, they plot to make the biggest flop of all time, or, in their own words, A SURE FIRE FLOP!”

    Musical Comedy Play 'The Producers' by LUMS

    Being the clever man that he is, Max gets the initial investment for his production by charming his old lady friends, who are smitten by his good looks. Thereafter begins Max and Leo’s quest to find and hire the worst possible actors and director, taking the audience on an exhilarating journey of music and laughter. Finally, the “worst script ever” is found, called ‘Springtime for Hitler’, and written by a Nazi German, Franz Liebkind. The character displayed such natural charm that the audience began to wonder if he was actually German, mimicking the dialect perfectly.

    Meanwhile, a bold and beautiful girl named Ulla drops by at Max’s office for auditions, but is later hired as a secretary. There is an immediate spark between Ulla and the timid Leo, who is too afraid to approach her, but their love blossoms undercover, as the play progresses.

    Finally, the opening night arrives, and we see a beautifully choreographed musical number, with some enchanting dance moves from the magnificent Ulla. However, it comes as quite a surprise when Max and Leo find out that their play is actually a major hit rather than a flop. Their ploy fails, and Max is imprisoned. Leo is seduced by Ulla into running away with her to Rio de Janeiro. However, Leo later returns to save Max.

    Musical Comedy Play 'The Producers' by LUMS

    Leo and Ulla finally united

    The play also featured a number of gay characters, who particularly stole the spotlight. It was quite a spectacle to see the boys perform so seamlessly in their skinny jeans and glittering gowns. The musical was well-received and thoroughly enjoyed by the audience, who couldn’t stop laughing at some of the inappropriate but uproarious jokes. Although perhaps the play could have done with a shorter duration and fewer dance sequences, they were nonetheless well-prepared and well-executed, and all the dancers, especially Ulla (played by Natasha Khan) did a marvelous job with the samba and the lifts.

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