Cover image for A year with the Producers : one actor's exhausting (but worth it) journey from Cats to Mel Brooks' mega-hit
A year with the Producers : one actor's exhausting (but worth it) journey from Cats to Mel Brooks' mega-hit
Denman, Jeffry.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York ; London : Routledge, [2002]

Physical Description:
xiii, 186 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
General Note:
"A theatre arts book"
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
MT956 .D46 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
MT956 .D46 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
MT956 .D46 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
MT956 .D46 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



A behind-the-scenes story with more than a touch of theatrical magic about it, A Year with The Producers is a book for actors and theater fans everywhere.

Author Notes

Buffalo-born Jeffry Denman, currently in The Producers, has also appeared in the Broadway revival of How to Succeed, the Johnny Mercer musical Dream, in Cats as Munkustrap, and in PBS's Great Performances My Favorite Broadway. He has also choreographed Naked Boys Singing! and is developing his own show, Dancing in the Dark, for New York

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the summer of 2000, Denman, an actor in New York for eight years, set his heart on appearing in Brooks's much-hyped musical, ignoring New York Post gossip writer Michael Riedel's acerbic comment that it "[h]as all the makings of a floperoo." Here, Denman offers a candid one-year diary of his experiences as singer, dancer and understudy in the production. His style is breezy and refreshingly honest, charting each step from audition to opening night. Winning over director Susan Stroman was the first challenge, and Denman describes achieving the prayed-for callback through intense mental focus that convinces director, composer and author that you're exactly what they've been looking for. The first day of rehearsal establishes a caste system, during which principals frequently ignore those who don't have speaking lines. Dramatizing the confining nature of a Broadway commitment, he asks Stroman for one day off to do an important career-enhancing performance and is flatly denied permission. Tensions mount after a main actor loses his voice and a pre-Broadway Chicago run reveals serious problems. Denman vividly recounts the terror of opening night in New York, and readers share his later triumph when he goes on for star Matthew Broderick and scores a hit. Affectionate biographies of Broderick, Stroman, Nathan Lane, librettist Tom Meehan and Mel Brooks round out the book. Denman's emotional narrative maintains suspense and sufficiently informs, making this a textbook for anyone seeking a theatrical career and yearning "[t]o change, alter, enhance, deepen, and magnify the hearts of people who sit there watching." B&w photos. Agent, Ann Steele. (Apr.) Forecast: Even those lacking showbiz aspirations will enjoy this book; it has a strong inspirational angle. That, along with the show's blockbuster success, guarantees an instant hit. Making it available at theater district bookstores will help. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Matthew Broderick
Forewordp. ix
Cast of Charactersp. xi
I Have an Auditionp. 1
The Callbackp. 9
Cats, Backstagep. 12
The Closingp. 16
A Road Not Takenp. 27
Leo Bloom Understudy Auditionp. 30
First Costume Fittingp. 33
First Day of Rehearsalp. 34
Satan Enters My Bodyp. 39
End of the First Weekp. 43
First Full Cast Dayp. 46
Week Twop. 48
Understudy Assignmentsp. 52
Week Threep. 53
Trying Things Outp. 62
Reality Sets Inp. 64
Producer Run-Thrup. 66
Invited Dressp. 68
Chicagop. 70
Sitzprobep. 78
First Preview--Chicagop. 83
Opening Night in Chicagop. 98
Final Show in Chicagop. 104
Home Again--New Yorkp. 105
The Cast Recordingp. 109
Dress Runp. 113
First Preview--New Yorkp. 114
Opening Nightp. 116
Fifteenp. 122
Tony, Tony, Tony, Tonyyyyyyp. 127
Feeling a Little "Bookish"p. 137
The Documentary Screeningp. 140
Character Assassinationsp. 157
Three Days to Gop. 161
One Day to Gop. 164
The Last Entryp. 166
Acknowledgmentsp. 186