Show of the week
When this Great Performances presentation isn't promoting Mel Brooks's The Producers—not a tough sell in view of the Broadway smash's 12 Tony Awards—it's pausing to let your local PBS station drum up pledge-month contributions. You might dismiss this as a musical-comedy infomercial if it weren't irresistibly entertaining.
Watching Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and company record the cast album would be fun even if Brooks weren't on hand to introduce the songs for viewers. It's fascinating to watch the stars step into and out of character as the session proceeds. But Brooks's presence in the studio makes this a party. The composer-lyricist-writer-producer is so proud of his brainchild he's practically passing out cigars. If he were still seeking backers, you'd rush to invest in the show—especially after Gary Beach camps his way to glory in the "Springtime for Hitler" segment. And as a TV bonus, Broderick tosses off a dead-on Marlon Brando impression.
Bottom Line: Hit record