Springtime for Hilter is kaput.
After a record-demolishing, Tony-sweeping six-year run, the producers of Broadway's The Producers have announced that Mel Brooks' mega-hit musical will take its final bow on Apr. 22.
Based on Brooks' Oscar-winning 1968 movie of the same name, the musical about a rapscallion producer and his timid accountant, whose cockamamie scheme to make money by producing a surefire backfires badly, will officially shutter after playing 33 previews and 2,502 hugely popular performances at the St. James Theater.
"The last six years working on this show have been pure joy for me," Brooks said in a statement. "There is not a single person who has ever been involved with this production to whom I am not gratefully indebted."
Under the stewardship of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, who originated the roles of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloomin the spring of 2001, The Producers wowed critics and audiences alike and set several box-office milestones.
Among them: the mark for one-day sales with $3.3 million tickets sold upon its debut; repeating that feat in 2003 when the duo returned for a 14-week encore; and regularly surpassing $1 million a week even after becoming the first regular Broadway production to have $100 seats.
The Producers scored big at the 2001 Tony Awards, garnering 15 nominations and taking home a record 12 trophies, including Best Musical, Direction and Choreography for Susan Stroman, Best Book for Brooks and cowriter Thomas Meehan and Best Actor for Lane.
"The sound of laughter is the greatest sound on earth, and I have been lucky enough to experience that sound every day for the last six years," Stroman said Friday.
And the sight of dollar signs is even better.
The Producers, which cost $10.5 million to stage, made back its investment in just eight months, or faster than you can say Ulla Inga Hansen Bensen Yonsen Tallen-Hallen Svaden-Svanson. To date, the show has tallied about $283 million. (We won't mention the movie version of the musical starring Lane and Broderick and directed by Stroman; the film really did bomb, grossing less than $20 million in the U.S.)
Brooks & Co. have spun off productions, beginning first in Los Angeles (with Jason Alexander and Martin Short in the leads) then mounting two national tours. The Producers opened in London in 2004, with Lane reprising his role for a brief stint, and eventually played in Toronto, Buenos Ares, Melbourne and Tokyo.
A shorter 95-minute version of The Producers just opened at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and features former Baywatch star David Hasselhoff—not as one of the leads but as the show's cross-dressing director Roger DeBris.
Without Lane and Broderick heading the cast, the Broadway version has struggled at times, although ticket sales perked up when former Wings actor Steven Weber played Bloom. Broadway's current Bialystock is Tony Danza. He'll finish out his run opposite Hunter Foster on Mar. 11, after which the show's final Max and Leo will reportedly be tapped from other members of the ensemble.
When it finally does close its doors, The Producers will stand as the 18th-longest running show on the Great White Way, not bad for a "flop."
But fans of Brooks will be getting a nice consolation prize.
Following The Producers at the St. James will be a musical adaptation of the the funnyman's classic 1974 comedy, Young Frankenstein, set to open next fall.