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Kostroff's Bialystock is Back

THE_PRODUCERS_Cabrillo2 Michael Kostroff , the popular Back Stage contributor and columnist (Working Actor) and prolific actor, is reprising his Garland Award-winning and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle-nominated role of wily Broadway producer Max Bialystock  in the hit Mel Brooks musical "The Producers" (continuing at  Cabrillo Music Theatre, through April 17 only).

He has played this colorful role in several productions, including serving as understudy for the character of Max in the show's first national tour. Most of the principal cast and the director (Steven Glaudini) from the  2009 Musical Theatre West staging, in Long Beach (which we deemed a Critic's Pick), reteam for this Thousand Oaks rendition.

Though the staging is less lavish than it was in the MTW version, a solid cast and Glaudini's savvy direction still deliver  a rollicking evening of cheeky irreverence  in this fun-filled production.

SoCal Stages_blog Ace funnyman Larry Raben superbly resprises his choice role as Max's basket-case accomplice Leo Bloom, uproariously funny David Engel returns as cross-dressing director Roger DeBris, aka a Judy Garland-esque Adolph Hitler, and statuesque Sarah Cornell once again knocks 'em in the aisles as the Swedish bombshell Ulla.  Among actors not seen in the MTW staging, James W. Gruessing, Jr. is a four-star hoot as insane Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind, and Chris Caldwell is hilariously over the top as the perpetually flaming house boy/director's assistant Carmen Ghia.

The Cabrillo production guarantees a delightful time. Celebrate "Springtime for Hitler" in grand style by catching this irreverent romp before it makes a hasty departute.

--Les Spindle

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