Broadway musical “The Producers” runs two weekends on arts center stage

Junior Dylan Tacker (Leo) and senior Jacob Roberts-Miller (Max) see their story turned into a Broadway musical at the end of "The Producers." The show ran last weekend and continues with four showings this weekend, Sept. 26-28.

Junior Dylan Tacker (Leopold Bloom) and senior Jacob Roberts-Miller (Max Bialystock) see their story turned into a Broadway musical at the end of “The Producers.” The show ran last weekend and continues with four showings this weekend, Sept. 26-28. All photos by Maya Coplin.

Producing a Broadway smash

by Seren Villwock

Actors, singers, dancers and backstage crew worked over the summer, rehearsed long hours into the nights, and put on seven shows over two weekends to bring Broadway musical “The Producers” to the McCallum Arts Center stage.

“One of my favorite shows ever since I was a very young child was ‘The Producers’ because I just thought it was the funniest thing,” junior Dylan Tacker said. “So when I found out that we were doing this, I was more than excited.”

theproducers6Tacker played Leo Bloom, an insecure and obsessive accountant who is working for declining Broadway producer Max Bialystock, played by senior Jacob Roberts-Miller. When Leo discovers it would be possible to make more money with a flop on Broadway than hit, Max convinces him to join him in producing the worst show possible, “Springtime for Hitler,” and the laughter from the audience ensues.

After opening night, the show received a review on the local branch of the website Broadway World, entitled “MacTheatre Has Definitely Got It and Flaunts It in The Producers,” which praised the potential of the actors and the recreation of the original Broadway direction and choreography.

“There was really hard choreography that we had to do, so we brought in Ms. Adamez to teach the dancers during the summer,” stage manager Olivia Skedd said. “You constantly have to be dancing and singing, which is really tiring for all the actors.”

This year, the fall musical was two weekends, instead of one.

“By the end of it, I was really tired, but it was nice doing it two weekends because word gets out about it,” junior Hannah McEvilly said. “It was cool that more people were made aware of it because it was a longer run.”

theproducers3McEvilly, who played the Swedish girl Ulla in the musical, said she thought the show improved with each performance.

“I honestly was kind of nervous because I didn’t know if we would pull it off,” she said. “It’s a really big show with a lot of parts to it, and there’s a lot of dancing. But I think we did really well.”

The audience members kept coming for every performance, finishing with a packed final Sunday matinée show, which Skedd said was their best performance.

“I’ve heard really good things,” McEvilly said. “A lot of people have said it’s the best thing they’ve seen at McCallum. I feel like it probably made some people uncomfortable just because they’re not used to that, but we got a really good response.”

Tacker said the show required a lot from the cast and crew, both physically and emotionally. Both he and McEvilly went back and forth from rehearsals and performances with other theaters.

“We’ve been working all throughout the summer for such long hours in the day, so it really gave us a chance to bond with each other and really understand how we work as people and how we feel most comfortable,” he said. “I think that’s one of the more important things you get out of a show, so I’m glad we got as much of that as we did.”

Tacker said it’s a bittersweet feeling that the show is over.

“I’m glad that we’ve had such a successful run of it as we did, and I am going to miss all of the fun things that happened throughout the show and backstage and over the rehearsal process,” he said. “But I am kind of excited to move on from it and excited for what’s to come.”

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Cast of ‘The Producers’ performs at district educator’s conference

by Ciara Walsh

The cast of “The Producers” was invited to perform at the Austin Improvement in Education conference held at the Austin Convention Center Sept. 23-25.

“[This conference] is a conference for schools, and administrators and teachers from schools that are not meeting the criteria [or] not meeting the Texas Education Agency standards,” said Joshua Denning, the director of “The Producers.”

McCallum was chosen because they are known for being a fine arts academy,” said Arin Fullerton, the head content lead of the conference. “We really strive to promote student performance at the show just so that all the educators understand that the bottom line of all our work revolves around the students.”

theproducers1The cast performed “King of Broadway,” an ensemble number from the show.

“My favorite part about performing is the connections you make with everyone you work with during the show,” sophomore Miranda Vandenberg said. “It’s so much fun. No matter what time it is, rehearsals late at night, performances early in the morning, everyone feeds off each other’s energy, and it makes a really enjoyable experience.”

The cast was using the performance experience as practice as they prepared for judges from the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards competition to attend the next few shows. The GAHSMTA are presented at the Long Center in the second semester, and McCallum is competing against other high schools in the district for several awards.

“I hope the hard work of our students is acknowledged,” Denning said. “Everyone has worked really, and I mean really hard, on this show.”

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