The Producers, though, has been one of my biggest disappointments in theatre, even though the production in the Madách Theatre in Budapest was technically good and I didn't have very high hopes to start with. The humour and the music just didn't match my taste at all and the story didn't have anything to offer for me. The actors were good and did what they could with the characters, but it wasn't enough to save the evening.
By this point I had learned enough Hungarian to understand some jokes, and since they had the original English libretto as surtitles, I could also read the original lyrics*. I had the feeling that I've heard all the jokes before in some B-class sitcom or joke collection or in school when I was 12. There wasn't anything original, radical or shocking in them; they felt just lame, forced and unimaginative. It's not that I'd have a problem with jokes about gays, sex, blondes and Hitler as such, because it's very well possible to make good jokes about those topics, but the jokes in the musical simply felt childish. And since the story of the musical is one big joke about gays, sex, blondes and Hitler and squeezes everything out of those topics, I started to get rather bored after 15 minutes. Besides, Ulla's "Swedish" accent wasn't Swedish at all. :-P
I like the general idea of the show - a conman-like producer's attempt to make a really bad musical about Hitler and get away with the production money - but the characters wrapped around it felt lame and one-sided. There was a funny scene/song or two, like something with hilarious fake pigeons and Leo Bloom's office life scene. Now when I watch the video, I think I could like a scene or two out of context, but a whole musical with the same joke recycled over and over was too much.
At some point I also got an overdose of the Broadway-like dance routines that accompanied almost every scene. I'm not a fan of the most stereotypical Broadway style of making musicals, and even though The Producers partly seemed to be a parody of it, that joke got old quite quickly, too. I did like the staging, and the sets looked great.
I never saw The Producers in Helsinki when it played there back in 2007/2008, but here's the Finnish trailer if anyone's interested. The Hungarian production also seems to have closed, after four years and 200 performances.
* Note: this is not the way to do theatre texts. There's too much text in the lyrics and you don't have time to read them, plus half of the time they don't have much to do with what people are singing or saying on stage. I'm Finnish and am used to reading subtitles but I still couldn't get much out of them, so I can imagine how difficult it must be for someone in whose country everything foreign in TV and movies is not subtitled.