Hitler Sells Again in Germany
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 31, 2009 7:07 AM CDT
Actor Martin Sommerlatte plays Adolf Hitler during a dress rehearsal of the musical "The Producers" earlier this month in Berlin.    (AP Photo/Maja Hitij)
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(Newser) – The Broadway hit musical comedy The Producers finally opened in Berlin to boffo box office receipts—but not before in intense sales push to break through German reluctance to see an ersatz Hitler hamming it up on stage, reports the Los Angeles Times. "If you put it on most places, then it's a jolly musical about friendship and trust," said producer Falk Walter. "If you put it on in Berlin, Hitler is the dominant theme."

For years investors refused to back what they considered the most tasteless play imaginable which includes a satirical production called Springtime for Hitler. But for Walter, "everything seemed to work brilliantly, as a way of reducing Hitler to the ridiculous figure he was." Walter pushed the show using hawkers dressed as transvestite Nazis and ads featuring a knock-kneed Hitler. It worked. The play, scheduled for two months in a former Nazi theater, has been extended an extra four weeks.