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The Producers: The Book, Lyrics, and Story Behind the Biggest Hit in Broadway History! Hardcover – November 28, 2001

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About the Author

Director, producer, writer, and actor Mel Brooks is the creator of such comedy classics as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, and Silent Movie. Winner of an Academy Award for The Producers screenplay, Brooks won three of the twelve Tonys awarded to the record-breaking musical. Brooks is one of a few in the pantheon of entertainers to win an award grand slam: two Oscars, a Grammy, three Tonys, and four Emmys.

Thomas Meehan won his first Tony in 1977 for writing Annie and his second in 2001 for co-writing the book of The Producers with Mel Brooks. He is a long-time contributor to the New Yorker and an Emmy Award-winning television writer, and he has collaborated on a number of screenplays.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax; 1st edition (November 28, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786868805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786868803
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David Kusumoto on December 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I've written elsewhere, if you can't get a ticket to this, the greatest Broadway show of all time, here's what you should do, courtesy of
1. BUY THIS BOOK. It contains all of the lyrics, super pictures, and more important, not only the entire script, but the entire chronology, from its inception as a movie to creating the stage story to slapping together the first few songs to nervously hosting the first previews in Chicago to its blockbuster grand opening at the St. James Theater in New York! It doesn't get more comprehensive than this!
2. BUY THE ORIGINAL CAST ALBUM ON CD. This contains every song, from start to finish, sung by the award winning cast. The lyrics are here too.
3. BUY THE DVD/VIDEO, "Recording The 'Producers' - A Musical Romp with Mel Brooks." This is the closest you can get to seeing the musical, albeit not on stage. And don't be fooled by the liner notes. This isn't ONLY the 85 minute version that aired on PBS, it has extra footage that clocks the package at around 1 hour and 40 minutes!
I saw the show in October and I'm going back to New York to see it again in March. I've NEVER been this INSANE about any entertainment product (books, films, music, staged theater) in my LIFE.
With all three items -- the book, the CD and the DVD/video -- you get a pretty good idea of what makes "The Producers," with its spectacular mix of merriment and mirth, mayhem and satire, so great! It deserves all of its hype. You can't oversell it!
Every song is a show-stopper, a throwback to the riffs that feel like a "best hits" package from the greatest musicals ever made. A little bit of Cole Porter, Gershwin, vaudeville and classic dance melodies reminiscent of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly (e.g., "Gotta Sing-Sing!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By D. Clancy on November 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Unless a person has been isolated in Siberia I think everyone has heard of the Mel Brooks hit musical "The Producers". Written by Brooks and Thomas Meehan it is probably the biggest hit on Broadway in the past 50 years. Tickets are unavailable until July 2002 and "prime" seats are fetching $480. Is the show worth it? You bet and so is the book. And it is only ...
The book is a wonderful coffee table volume full of wonderful photographs from the production, rehearsal, casting and out of town tryout. There are stories from the stellar cast such as Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Roger Bart, Gary Beach, Brad Oscar and Cady Huffman. Madeleine Doherty relates her hilarious audition as a little "old lady" and Brad Oscar's rise from a swing/understudy to the permanent part of Franz Liebking when another actor was injured.
All of the lyrics and most of the book are included Act by Act. The lyrics for some of the songs that were deleted are hilarious. With Mel Brooks heavily involved in the book, we get to know how this valentine to Broadway was created and how the original 1968 film came to be.
Miramax Books is to be given a standing ovation for the gorgeous design on this publication.
If you have seen "The Producers" in New York as I did one month ago, this book is a wonderful souvenir and a necessary addition to your bookshelf. If you haven't seen it yet, it is still a wonderfully enjoyable volume. Anyone interested in Broadway or musical theatre will pore over the pages for hours.
I highly recommend it and it would make a great gift.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I myself am a huge fan of "The Producers." I have the video sitting on top of my VCR and it gets used quite frequently. I recieved the soundtrack as a gift and I listen to it when I don't have time to watch the film. This is because the CD contains a large quantity of dialogue, which can be a downside of it. However, Springtime For Hitler and Love Power crack me up everytime and that makes it all worth while.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tim Lieder on June 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
With all the dialogue in this CD you almost have to wonder what they took out. It's almost like they set out to put the entire movie on CD and ran out at 76 minutes (isn't the movie only about 12 minutes longer?)
On repeat listening you find out that not only are "Springtime for Hitler" and "Love Power" the funniest songs ever written (and if you didn't know that already why are you even thinking of buying this CD?) but the rest of the movie is hilarious including "the toy" scene and all the scenes with the Kraut "No one knew this but the Fuhrer was a TERRRIFIC dancer..." as well as the interaction between Gene Wilder.
Of course since this is a CD you can simply put Love Power and Springtime for Hitler on autorepeat and not believe me.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Caution: This book contains vulgar three and four letter words in the libretto and lyrics of The Producers. The intent behind the use of these words is humor, rather than prurience.
The Producers is by far the best book I have ever read about the development and staging of a Broadway show. Anyone who likes Broadway, comedy, or Mr. Mel Books will find this book to be irresistible! For those who cannot get tickets to The Producers (or have tickets for 2003), this book is your best bet to enjoy this marvelous musical in the near future. I strongly recommend this book as a gift item for those who don't mind some salty language and references.
This book contains reminiscences of the show's development from the first contact by Mr. David Geffen to Mr. Mel Brooks to encourage Mr. Brooks to create a Broadway musical version of the 1968 motion picture of The Producers by Mr. Brooks. Each personal statement is accompanied by beautiful, lighthearted candid photographs of the people involved. One of the most touching sections involves how Ms. Susan Stroman was chosen to direct and choreograph the show after her talented husband and artistic partner, Mike Ockrent died, and Ms. Stroman was still in mourning. The stories about the first reading for producers will leave you with a tingle of excitement. After the first act was read, Mr. Rocco Landesman offered the St. James Theatre. Fourteen producers present eventually invested in the show, after Mr. Geffen had to bail out due to other commitments. The accounts are full of one-liners to keep you laughing as you learn. For example, turning a movie with two songs into a musical with 16 more is described as being "not unlike trying to translate it from English into Serbo-Croatian.
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