Actor Henry Goodman, who was famously given his marching orders from the Broadway production of The Producers in 2002, has said that his involvement in the show is now consigned to history.
The 57-year-old – who is about to return to the West End stage as Tevye in a new production of Fiddler On The Roof (following a sell-out run in the show at the Sheffield Crucible late last year) – was due to replace Nathan Lane as Max Bialystock in Mel Brooks’ hit show.
However, he was fired from the production just days before opening night.
“What happened is I did the show in previews for a month to 60,000 people, had a wonderful time,” he told SomethingJewish.co.uk, “and then they sort of panicked because I wasn’t a big name, and the root of it was more to do with Broadway and all of its fears and so on.”
Ultimately, however, it hasn’t done Goodman’s career any harm. Within minutes of getting the sack he was offered several other jobs – and eight months later he returned to Broadway in the Moliere play Tartuffe.
“That’s the ironic thing about Broadway,” Goodman said, “it’s a sort of love-in, and also a sort of scary hell.People are so pressured by losing lots of money that it brings out the best and the worst in people, a sort of venal greedy arrogance alongside lots of terrific support and encouragement.”
“But the whole thing is history, if you look in the West End, look on Broadway, where’s The Producers – it’s gone. And that’s the point – it’s gone, I’m still here! And since then I’ve done half a dozen amazingly successful shows.”
Fiddler On The Roof is previewing at London’s Savoy Theatre on May 19 and opens on May 29.
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