If there’s one place in the world that has full license to make fun of Hitler, it’s here … We don’t shy away from the images. If you look at Israeli television every night, there are swastikas and Nazi footage on one programme or another. It’s not as if seeing a swastika is a shock for Israelis. The main objective is to make people laugh.”

Micah Levensohn, Israeli director ofThe Producers, a musical based on Mel Brooks’ original 1968 film about two Broadway producers who stage an accidentally successful musical about Hitler. Although the producers’ intent was to create an offensive flop — and subsequently flee with the excess money they had raised for the musical — they discover that they have unwittingly made a hit musical about Hitler and are consequently incarcerated.

The show, translated into Hebrew and playing to packed houses at the 920-seater Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv, is currently sold out through May 2006.

Mimi Hanaoka

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