Germany to stage Nazi-themed musical for the first time

April 10th, 2009 - 5:55 pm ICT by ANI  

Berlin (Germany), Apr.10 (ANI): Germany is to stage the controversial Mel Brooks musical “The Producers” for the first time amid a debate over whether the country is ready to laugh at its Nazi past. According to The Telegraph, the show, which opens in May, is being staged at the theatre where Hitler once watched a wartime version of The ‘Merry Widow’

Berlin’s Admiralspalast Theatre is putting on the first-ever production of the show that features tap-dancing storm troopers and jokes about the invasion of Poland. The move comes as part of a rise in the number of films and documentaries revisiting the Third Reich in recent years. The manager of the Admiralspalast, Falk Walter, says it was high time that Berlin staged “The Producers”, which has been made into a movie twice and opened on Broadway in 2001.

The musical, based on a 1968 feature film written and directed by Brooks, is about a Broadway producer and his accountant who can only get rich by putting on the most tasteless show imaginable which will flop. It features a string of bizarre characters including a pigeon-fancier who teaches his birds to raise their wings in the Heil! salute leading the singing of the show’s hit song “Springtime for Hitler”.

Brooks, himself Jewish, said of his comic masterpiece: “You have to laugh at dictators like Hitler. That’s the one thing in the world they really cannot stand - being figures of fun.”

The last comedy about Hitler by Jewish director Dani Levy in 2007 flopped with critics and audiences alike. (ANI)

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