November 29, 2007 Alfred Branch Jr.
Actor, singer, and dancer Tony Danza is returning to a role he knows well: that of Max Bialystock, the devil-may-care conniving con man in the production of The Producers at the Paris Hotel on the Las Vegas strip. He played Bialystock on Broadway from Dec. 19, 2006 to March 11, 2007. He will remain in the role in Vegas until its closing on Feb. 9, 2008.
The Las Vegas production, a scaled-down 90-minute version, opened to delighted crowds at the Paris Las Vegas on Jan. 31 this year.
Well-remembered for his roles in television’s “Taxi” and “Who’s The Boss,” Danza has also played numerous stage roles, including Wrong Turn at Lungfish, earning an Outer Critic’s Circle Award nomination. He made his Broadway debut in Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge, and he played to critical acclaim as Rocky in a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh. As a singer, he released his first album, “The House I Live In,” in 2003.
The original Broadway production of The Producers starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick opened April 19, 2001, and racked up the most Tony Awards (twelve) in history including a Tony for the book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, for the music and lyrics by Brooks, and for the direction and choreography by Susan Stroman. It was based on Brooks’ earlier movie of the same name.
According to press notes, “The Producers is the story of producer Max Bialystock, and Leo Bloom, a mousy accountant. Together they hatch the ultimate scam: raise more money than you need for a sure-fire Broadway flop and pocket the difference. Their ‘sure-fire’ theatrical fiasco? The fictional musical Springtime for Hitler.”
(The image accompanying this story is from EveryThreeWeekly.com)