Kelsey Grammer is in negotiations to replace Nathan Lane in “The Producers” at the end of the latter’s current run.
A rep for the Mel Brooks tuner released the following statement:
“The producers of ‘The Producers’ have spoken to Mr. Grammer about the possibility of playing Max Bialystock on Broadway, but it would be premature to confirm or comment beyond that.”
As reported on TV Guide Online, the “Frasier” star mentioned his being in negotiations for the role of Bialystock. When asked who would play the Matthew Broderick role of Leo Bloom, Grammer replied, “I don’t know. That’s one of the questions.”
In the interview, Grammer laughed at the suggestion of his “Frasier” co-star David Hyde Pierce playing Bloom. “That’s a funny idea,” he said. “I’m not sure if the audience is ready for that yet.”
Both actors should be ready and available.
“Frasier” goes off the air in May after 11 seasons, taping its last episode March 23.
Lane and Broderick leave “The Producers” April 4. Their return engagement has made the tuner the top-grossing show on Broadway in back-to-back sessions: New Year’s week set a Broadway record of $1.6 million for eight perfs. Last week, it grossed $1.37 million, which topped the show’s previous nonholiday high of $1.29 million. That cume came during March 11-17, 2002, the last week of Broderick and Lane’s original run. “Producers” opened April 19, 2001.
Grammer’s last run on Broadway did not make the record books. He starred in a poorly reviewed production of “Macbeth,” which ran just 13 performances in June 2000. The general consensus: Grammer’s fans didn’t want to see Shakespeare, and the Bard crowd had no interest in “Frasier.”
In the early 1980s, Grammer appeared on Broadway in “Othello” and “Macbeth.”