The Producers was great when it started life as a Mel Brooks movie comedy, buoyed by one of the great Zero Mostel’s rare screen performances and the outrageous centerpiece of the entire “Springtime for Hitler” singing/dancing sequence. The Producers was even greater, in many’s eyes, when Brooks adapted his classic to Broadway. And now we get to see how it fares in repertory theatre, when the ambitious and always-fun Woodstock Playhouse takes on the modern chestnut as its summer season opener this week.
The new Playhouse was enclosed and then transformed in recent years by Randy Conti and Doug Farrell, the same people behind the New York Conservatory for the Arts, a theatre school in West Hurley that has been training young performers and putting on great student productions for over a quarter-century in the area. In its latest summer-stock form, it reinvents and continues the legacy of a host of previous Playhouse incarnations stretching back into the 1920s, whose array of great acting and directing talent has included the likes of Helen Hayes, Lee Marvin, Diane Keaton, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, among dozens of renowned names.
The Producers will kick off this summer’s season with performances on June 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29 and 30. Legally Blonde follows on July 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 and 15, after which Equus hits the boards on July 19, 20 and 21. The season’s closer, Chicago, runs August 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 and 11. All evening performances begin at 8 p.m., while Sunday matinees start at 2 p.m. Buy tickets online 24 hours a day at https://woodstockplayhouse.org or by phone at (845) 679-6900 Tuesdays through Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. For further information, visit the Playhouse at 103 Mill Hill Road on performance evenings, call (845) 339-4340 or visit ulsterpub.staging.wpengineplayhouse.org.