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I Wanna Be a Producer

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May 10, 2005

Mel Brooks' hit musical The Producers plays the Fox and inspires a program of music from Mel Brooks films as well as music and comedy about Show Biz.

Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
No Parking / Today's Weather / Speed Reading Somewhere Over the Radio Stevens and Grdnic It's a trio of commercial radio parodies by a pair of St. Louis-based comics (now the owners of All-Star Radio, a St. Louis company that produces comedy spots for syndication) who've Been There and Done That.
Steve McNab Somewhere Over the Radio Stevens and Grdnic Steve McNab of Garbage talks about his new LP and the advantages of electrocuting small animals. This was, of course, a good ten years before anybody decided Garbage would actually be a good name for a band.
Bend Over Beethoven Somewhere Over the Radio Stevens and Grdnic Number 500 with a bullet by the fictional Garbage.
Universal Bank The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Bob Dryden Their motto: We trust you – about as far as we can throw you.
Opening Night The Producers (OC 2001) Ensemble Once again, Max Bialystock produces a stinker – this time, a musical version of Hamlet.
The King Of Broadway The Producers (OC 2001) Nathan Lane, Ensemble As the crowd leaves in disgust, Max reminisces about his glory days.
Police Auditions The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Vernon Taft, Christopher Guest, John Belushi, Brian Doyle-Murray, Chevy Chase The callbacks are murder.
I Wanna Be A Producer The Producers (OC 2001) Matthew Broderick, Ensemble Leo Bloom realizes that there's more to life than a No. 2 pencil and a green eyeshade.
In Old Bavaria The Producers (OC 2001) Brad Oscar Unrepentant Nazi Franz Liebkind – author of the worst play ever written, Springtime for Hitler – reminisces about HIS glory days.
Springtime for Hitler Mel Brooks' Greatest Hits Ensemble Here's the original, in all its vulgar glory. The stage version is over twice as long and even more excessive.
Straight Man Auditions The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Michael O'Donoghue, Christopher Guest, Chevy Chase, John Belushi This isn't as easy as you might think.
High Anxiety Mel Brooks' Greatest Hit Mel Brooks It's – Mel Brooks as a lounge singer, crooning the theme from the Hitchcock parody of the same name.
Blazing Saddles Mel Brooks' Greatest Hit Frankie Lane So, did Lane know that he was doing a parody of himself? And if so, did he care?
Puttin' on the Ritz Mel Brooks' Greatest Hit Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle Interestingly enough, this bit from Young Frankenstein was Gene Wilder's idea rather than Mel Brooks' and Wilder had to fight to keep it in the film.
The Monster Mash Cornology The Bonzo Dog Band Sorry, but the segue was irresistible - as is Viv Stanshall's demented, over-the-top "Boris" vocal.
Show Biz Show Biz Dennis Tracy Here's a classic "flash in the pan" act. Tracy produced this one LP of a live concert of (mostly) clever parodies along with one or two quite respectable non-comic songs and promptly disappeared from view.
Onion Radio News 35 The Onion's Finest News Reporting Doyle Redland McDonald's Unveils New All-Beef Bun. Are we sure this is a joke?
Vegas Let's Get Small Steve Martin Steve gives us all the essential ingredients of the Vegas lounge act in under three minutes.
Vegas Standup Comic Woody Allen Allen takes even less time to cover his Vegas experience.
Classics of Contemporary Drama: Waiting for Godot The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Christopher Guest, John Belushi, Brian McConnachie, Sean Kelly I have to admit, it's a lot shorter if Godot actually shows up.
There's No Business Like Show Business American Musical Theatre, Volume II Ethel Merman, Bruce Yarnell, Jerry Orbach, Rufus Smith Ethel Merman and Jerry Orbach? This is from a 1966 made-for-LP recording of the show (when Merman was a bit past her prime) rather than the original, which dates from 1946.
The Lullaby of Broadway 42nd Street (OC 1980) Jerry Orbach, Ensemble In its original incarnation (in Gold Diggers of 1935) this Harry Warren / Al Dubin song accompanies an extended (14 minute) mini-ballet that pays homage to New York nightlife with a dark undercurrent: the protagonist (dancer Wini Shaw) lies dead at the end after a fall from a balcony following a libidinous night. In the 1980 Broadway show it's an unabashed Valentine to the Great White Way.
Razzle Dazzle Chicago (OC 1975) Jerry Orbach, Ensemble "As long as you keep 'em way off balance / How can they see you got no talents?" I still say this Kander and Ebb number is the unofficial theme song of the Bush administration.
Ten Percent Lost in Boston Harry Groener Speaking of Chicago, here's a song about a theatrical agent that was cut from the show in pre-Broadway tryouts.
Classics of Contemporary Drama: The Idiot The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Christopher Guest, Bill Murray It's possible to take a title too literally.
Life Upon the Wicked Stage Show Boat (Revival Cast 1994) Dorothy Stanley, Elaine Stritch Ellie wants you to know it's not as much fun as you might think. The 1927 original ran for a year and a half. This spectacular revival (there were three more before it) of the Kern / Hammerstein classic ran for 947 performances
Broadway Baby Back to Before Kim Criswell In its original context in Sondheim's Follies the song is somewhat ironic in that it's sung by a veteran actress recalling her younger days.
Front Row Center: Death Of A Salesman The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour Christopher Guest, Bob Dryden, Judith Jacklin Another case of taking a title too literally.
What Did That Man Say? Give Us a Break Proctor and Bergman What we have here is a failure to communicate.
There's No Business Like Show Business The Ethel Merman Disco Album Ethel Merman This is the first of three finales for the show. As far as I can tell, Merman just belted everything out the way she always did and the producers just stuck a disco beat behind it later. The result is somewhat unsettling - kind of like dumping strawberries on a pizza..
Applause Jason Graae Live at the Cinegrill Jason Graae Graae appeared at the Edison Theatre earlier this year and was, frankly, hilariously entertaining. "Applause" is the title song from the 1970 musical of the same name based on the film All About Eve. Lauren Bacall starred as the aging star who becomes the target of ambitious younger actress.
Celluloid Heroes Everybody's in Show Biz The Kinks The final finale is this elegiac look at Hollywood is by the always-eloquent Ray Davies.

Acronyms and other mysteries defined:

OC: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Cast recording of a Broadway show, along with the date.

OS: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Soundtrack recording of a film, TV show, etc.

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