There are scripts that qualify as national treasures, and Mel Brooks's THE PRODUCERS is high on the A-list.  It is the ultimate, over the top, gleefully politically incorrect, good-hearted, goof-ball, completely nutso musical tour de force that defies description.  Like a great moment in history, you just have to be there.

The version presented by the Broadway Series at the Ohio Theater---itself a national treasure---does this jewel justice.  The staging is beautiful, the acoustics fine, the cast a delight, the  costumes and sets all they should be.  In short, it's a wonderful evening in a setting that can't be beat. 

If you don't know the story, don't worry, there's not much to tell.  A down-on-his luck producer named Bialystock hooks up with a liberated accountant named Bloom to scam a show funded by horny old women.  They want it to fail, and wind up with a bomb called SPRINGTIME FOR HITLER that turns into a blitzkreig.  What more can be said?

The movie version of this madcap masterpiece suffers at the end from some mawkish sentimentality which re-surfaces here.  But somebody had the good sense to trim much of it from this stage show.  Dumping one more song would have been perfect.   

But that's a minor quibble.  What really matters is that this fabulous farce features the single most hilarious musical extravaganza ever conceived.  One can only ask what drug Mel Brooks must have been taking to choreograph a costumed dance number featuring a gay Shicklegruber and an anschluss of dance queens bedecked with sausages, pretzels, beer mugs and panzers. 

It helps that the women are gorgeous and the music spot-on.  Bob Amaral does an admirable job of following in the impossible footsteps of Zero Mostel (movie) and Nathan Lane (recent Broadway).  Co-star Andy Taylor does fine following Gene Wilder (movie) and Matthew Broderick (Broadway).  Supporting performances from Ida Leigh Curtis, Stuart Marland and Rich Affanato are all thoroughly engaging.  Bill Nolte is especially good as Liebkund, the crazed Nazi scriptwriter who also happens to have one very powerful voice and a very forceful stage presence.  One of his scenes, with Seig Heiling pigeons, is a comic masterpiece.

What matters here is that this unique treasure of manic genius fits beautifully onto the Ohio stage with a presentation that is first rate and professional.  There is no more beautiful place to see this show than the Ohio, and no wilder and crazier show to see than THE PRODUCERS.  It's here until January 8.  Don't miss it.