Trust me, I’m just as surprised as you. In fact, I’m probably more surprised than anyone that I was asked if I would be interested in directing The Producers.
You see, I’m not the obvious choice for directing a musical. I’m more of a Mamet/Shepard kind of guy. Dirt-under-the-fingernails theatre. If you were to ask people around town, "Who is the least likely guy to direct a musical?" chances are, my name would pop up somewhere between Henry Kissinger and Mussolini (although, to be fair, rumor has it Mussolini had a rendition of “Send In the Clowns” that was stunning).
If you were to see me walking down the street, you probably wouldn’t say “Boy, I bet that guy is a tap-dancin’, showtune-beltin’ machine.” You’d say, “Boy, I bet that guy eats a lot of ham.”
Luckily, though, not going with the obvious is working out just fine, as far as I’m concerned. I’m having a blast working my way through the brain of Mel Brooks. Fortunately, I’ve been teamed up with a group of people that are beyond talented. Seriously. We’re talking crazy talented. Every night, I sit there and wonder “How are they doing that?”
It’s very cool to watch. It’s also fairly annoying. I’ve been doing theatre for over 25 years, and I’m seeing people pick up complicated dance routines in minutes. Routines that would take me months to learn. It’s humbling and sick.
Makes you want to grab a ham.
--Steve Emily, Director of The Producers opening Jan. 28 at the Fine Arts Center
[Image courtesy of Chris Chidsey and SXC.]