Theater: Brush Up Your Goose Step

IT'S SPRINGTIME FOR MEL BROOKS AGAIN, AS HE BRINGS HIS FILM CLASSIC THE PRODUCERS TO BROADWAY. AN INSIDE LOOK AT HOW HE DID IT

Mel Brooks is sitting near the back of the almost deserted St. James Theatre a couple of hours before curtain time. A reporter is at his right, yet Brooks stares straight ahead at the empty stage while he talks, as if he can't quite believe what will soon be born there. Most people with a big Broadway show about to open would be busy making fixes, rewriting lines, fighting anxiety. Brooks is mainly feeling recharged, in the way 74-year-old comic legends rarely are. "I haven't been this happy since I did my first sketch on Your Show of Shows with Sid...

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