30 Nov 2021

‘The Producers’ set to roll in Clara

THE finishing touches are being put to Clara Musical Society’s annual production which this year is the hilarious Mel Brooks comedy ‘The Producers’.

THE finishing touches are being put to Clara Musical Society’s annual production which this year is the hilarious Mel Brooks comedy ‘The Producers’.

Now in their forty-first year the Society are continuing their trend of not being afraid to tackle lesser known shows and bringing them to life to the delight of their loyal audience whom now travel from far and wide to see their shows.

The plot certainly has many amusing twists and turns but in summary the show is set in New York, 1959.

Max Bialystock (Paul Norton) was once the king of Broadway, but now all his shows close on opening night. Things turn around when he’s visited by the neurotic accountant Leo Bloom (Malcolm Whelan), who proposes a scheme tailor-made for producers who can only make flops: raise far more money than you need, then make sure the show is despised. No one will be interested in it, so you can pocket the surplus.

To this end, they produce a musical called ‘Springtime for Hitler’ written by escaped Nazi Franz Liebkind (Seamus Carroll), a show that’s sure to offend people of all greed’s and backgrounds. Then they get the insanely flamboyant Roger De Bris (Wayne Handy) to direct.

Finally, they hire as a lead actress the loopy Swedish bombshell with little English Ulla (Natalie Kelly).

As opening night draws near, what can go wrong? Well, there’s no accounting for taste...

As usual the strong Clara cast and crew of locals and as far afield as Portlaoise and Athlone have been rehearsing since January under the Direction of their production team lead by, Director and MD Alan Recks, Choreographer Sarah Griffin and Assistant Director Rufina Recks.

The show contains a strong musical score which will be delivered by the ten piece orchestra. As always the visuals and technical aspects of this show should prove no bother to the group including over twenty dancing Grannies on zimmer frames and a large pigeon loft.

Not to mention an all-singing and tap dancing ‘Hitler’ for the big number for the show ’Spring Time for Hitler’.

Paul Norton will make a welcome return to the Clara stage as ‘Max Bialystock’ and is joined by Athlone’s Malcolm Whelan as his side kick ‘Leo Bloom’.

Making her Clara debut and performing her first leading role is Natalie Kelly as ‘Ulla’. Also returning to the Clara stage is Seamus Carroll as ‘Franz Liebkind’ and John Coss as ‘Carmen’.

Local man Wayne Handy plays ‘Roger’ and with performers like Aoife Fitzsimons, Nigel Sammon, Christy Bannon, Stephen Rabbette, Eoghan Fingleton, Amanda Cunningham, Aoife Devery, Fiona Rigney, Nathan Meehan and of course local favourite Tommy Scanlon there will be no shortage of talent on display.

The curtain will go up on Clara Musical Society’s 2012 production, Mel Brook’s comedy ‘The Producers’ at 8pm on Tuesday, March 27 at the local GAA Centre for a five night run finishing on Saturday, March 31. Bookings can be made at 087 9366247 or online at

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