The Producers has goose-stepped its way onto a German stage 76 years after the springtime when Hitler took power, the New York Times reports. There were plenty of laughs—if sometimes uneasy ones—on opening night Sunday, but the Nazi-mocking musical and its swastika-laden ads prompted a fresh round of soul-searching in the press over Germany's past.
"Should one be allowed to laugh about Hitler?” one Berlin paper wondered several days after the opening. “People in Tel Aviv laughed,” noted another. The producers of The Producers, faced with slow ticket sales amid a glum German economy, have promoted the show as a musical for people who don't like musicals and as a test of German tolerance for jokes about its Nazi past.