The Collins Center for the Arts has been known all over the state of Maine for the variety of shows it brings to the greater Bangor area. From theater productions put on by students, to comedy acts such as the likes of Bob Marley and Rodney Carrington, the Collins Center draws diverse and notable acts from around the world.
But none compare to the Broadway shows brought in a few times a year. The latest show played at the Collins Center was “The Producers,” on Sunday, Nov. 8.
According to Stage Agent, “The Producers,” written by Thomas Meehan and Mel Brooks, is based on Brooks’ 1968 film of the same name. It tells the story of a Broadway producer named Max Bialystock, who misses the success of theater and will do anything to get to the top. With the help of a nerdy accountant named Leo Bloom, Bialystock devises an odd plan to make his way back to the top by producing a bad play rather than a good play.
A laugh inducing, crowd-pleasing favorite, it made its debut in 2001 and has won numerous awards, including 12 Tony Awards.
The company that performed “The Producers” at the Collins Center is called Big League Productions. They have performed shows at the University of Maine before, “The Music Man” being the most recent.
“It is nice to get something a little different from them. ‘The Music Man’ is a classic, whereas ‘The Producers’ is considered to be contemporary,” Danny Williams, executive director of the Collins Center for the Arts, said.
Williams is excited about a new title to add to the vast list of Broadway shows the Collins Center has hosted. He is also excited that Big League Productions put on the show.
“To be in this line of work and produce national Broadway tours, you can’t be just so-so, you have to know what you are doing, and they know. Any national Broadway tour is going to be a quality production, so I think that they are bringing something we have never seen before because it is exposing us to something different and something new and something that is really, really good,” Williams said.
The acting company did not respond to a request for an interview, but students at UMaine were just as excited as Williams about the prospect of a new Broadway show to see on campus.
“It’s pretty cool. You get a really great outside experience that by seeing a show can make you a very well rounded person. It can open your eyes to some cool stuff,” Kirsten Richards, a second-year theatre and child development student, said.
The Collins Center is always trying to bring in shows that encourage students to follow and pursue their dreams.
“I have always wanted to be on Broadway and seeing these shows warms my heart and overwhelms me with happiness,” Richards said.