HOLLYWOOD — When Martin Short finally emerged from “The Producers” press zone opening night, Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald rushed up in a scene that could’ve been lifted from the play.
“You’re a genius,” Parkes enthused.
Well-known well-wishers such as Rob Reiner, Nora Ephron and Larry David, likewise chatting in wait nearby, quickly moved forward to surround Short and co-star Jason Alexander during Thursday night’s after-bow bash at the Palladium.
The L.A. opener for the Mel Brooks Broadway smash drew a glittering array to the Pantages — power pals Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, producer Brad Grey, a comedians’ who’s-who ranging from Carl Reiner and Carol Burnett to Billy Crystal, Tim Allen, Garry Shandling and Richard Lewis, plus legit mainstays such as Marc Shaiman and John Raitt — who mobilized a few blocks south after curtain call.
The industry-heavy aud lapped up the showbiz jokes about hustling for backers. When Alexander/Max Bialystock made the self-deprecating remark, speaking in third person, that “he was good, but no Nathan Lane,” it was a funny line but one that rang a little too true.
Brooks played the evening’s host, row hopping from Dom DeLuise to Steven Weber (Matthew Broderick‘s replacement as Leo Bloom on Broadway) during intermission, then table-hopped at the post-perf soiree. Among the crowd: Goldie Hawn plus offspring Kate (with husband Chris Robinson) and Oliver Hudson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and husband Brad Hall, Bea Arthur, Cyd Charisse, local politico Zev Yaroslavsky, plus Jamie Lee Curtis with husband Christopher Guest and daughter in tow.