Daniel Wyman, Jessica Loertscher in SRO's 'The Producers'
Photo courtesy: Yelm's Triad Theater
To quote Billy Rose, a mid 20th century theater showman and lyricist, on the Broadway opening of his theatrical production of Crazy Quilt in 1931, "We're bringing in a hit!"
Yelm has a hit in the SRO Production of 'The Producers' directed by Nancy Tribush Hillman at The TRIAD Theater.
This show had an almost filled theater last night, second night of a 6 performance run nightly through November 17th. The show is already SRO (standing room only) tonight and Saturday!
'The Producers' is a musical adaptation by comedic genius Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan from Brooks' 1968 film of the same name, which opened at New York's St. James Theatre April 19, 2001. The show ran for 2,502 performances, winning a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards. The original show starred Nathan Lane as Max Bialystock and Matthew Broderick as Leopold "Leo" Bloom, with Yelm's show providing commanding performances by Dave Champagne and Daniel Wyman in those roles, respectively.
Champagne has a huge on-stage presence and is a Yelm favorite.
I was initially hesitant that Wyman could hold his own and carry his character well enough to shine along side a talent such as Champagne, however his ease of manner, strong singing voice and versatility provided just what was needed to successfully pull off such a challenging role. Bravo to Daniel! He has a great future on-stage.
Theater-goers know that when they lose sight of the performers themselves and blend their view to only see the characters, the stage performances were successful. Such is the case here, as Champagne & Wyman were that good! Their on-stage presence reminded me often of Lane and Broderick in these roles, as well.
An amazing performance was delivered from Jessica Loertscher in the role of Ulla. Her seemingly effortless execution in her every scene and numerous, gorgeous costume changes sparkled and shined. Loertscher was accompanied on-stage by her husband Kurt in his first SRO play, who precisely animated the character of Franz, and brother-in-law Fred, who demonstrated his talents, unusual "prop" and agility as Scott. They all had fun, as the audience noted.
I was thrilled to see Aaron Rodriguez as Roger DeBris and Tyler Hennessy as Carmen Ghia stretch themselves in "out-of-the-box" roles, which reflected their range of talent. Hennessy's on-stage presence captivated me, as his enunciation, body language and expressions "nailed it" to the letter in his role and accompanied Rodriguez precisely. I expect to see more of his talent shine. Not since Kevin McManus was in Hillman's plays have I been so impressed with the potential and depth of a young, male performer!
Other cast members that made an impression were Tahsis Fairley in several roles that delighted the audience, Champagne's son Will and the singing duo Lilly Keeslar and Kat Milligan. While a small part, Shannon Russell's singing as Stormtrooper was outstanding. Of course, all of the stage performers and crew were an integral part of bringing in this "hit" and deserved the robust hooting and applause at the end scene.
The Musical Direction of New York's Stephen Borsuk can not be underscored enough in keeping the tempo lively and in-tune with his stage performers. Thanks & appreciation to Stephen for returning to Yelm!
Hillman has again done wonders with props and scenery on a confined stage that work exceedingly well under her direction. She continues to amaze in effective utilization of such a small space and in garnering the best from a variety of our local talent!
I spoke with a group of seniors from Olympia who van-pooled to Yelm to take in a show and left uplifted, in their spirited description and their shining faces. This is a true tribute and a Chamber of Commerce marketer's dream!
Don't miss this show, nightly at 7:30pm through Monday:
The Triad Theater
Yelm's home for Arts/Entertainment/Nightlife
102 Yelm Ave. SE
Yelm, WA 98597
Visit www.thetriadartstheater.com for more info.
Tickets: $15 at the door.