I Don’t Think They Get It

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Producers. I don’t remember how old I was, but I remember my parents sitting me down and basically saying, “Humor goes beyond fart jokes.” I was pretty young at the time and probably didn’t get any of the jokes. But at least I learned the words to the Nazi-era German national anthem.

I never saw the play, but I did see the musical movie re-make. I’m not such a fan but maybe I’m just a huge Gene Wilder fan. Clearly, the people don’t really care for my opinion because it is something like the biggest grossing musical of all time.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Producers, it is about two men who realize they can make a ton of money if they make the worst play of all time. They find a gem of a play called “Springtime for Hitler,” a pro-Nazi musical.

Now, if you’re watching this on Broadway, you’d get the irony, right? But what if you were to watch it in Berlin? And the jokes were in German? At what point do the lines go from comedy to “Oh my god! Am I at a Nazi rally??”

This doesn’t have to be a hypothetical question anymore. Next week, The Producers is debuting in Germany.

How do you say “Don’t be stupid. Be a smarty. Come and join the Nazi party” in German?

Discover More

Why I Don’t Officiate at Intermarriages

Effective counseling of intermarried couples makes the difference for the Jewish future--not officiating at their weddings.

How Can I Pray If I Don’t Believe The Words?

Prayer is not a statement of belief, but a literary creation -- with all the power, nuance and complexity of literary creations.

Debbie Friedman: Singing Unto God

A self-taught musical phenomenon, she had a huge impact on liberal Jewish worship.