Actors Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane have each been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They electrified audiences in the Broadway version of "The Producers," and as we hear from VOA's Mike O'Sullivan, both are reprising their roles in a film version of the hit musical.
Broderick and Lane were both established actors when they took to the New York stage in The Producers, Broderick as the neurotic accountant Leo Bloom and Lane as the shady stage producer Max Bialystock.
They hoped to produce a musical so bad, it was sure to flop, letting them keep the money from the elderly widows who had invested. To the dismay of the producers, the outrageous musical, called Springtime for Hitler, becomes a hit.
The Producers was written by Mel Brooks. In 1968, it had been released as a film, starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. The screenplay earned Brooks an Oscar.
In 2001, the stage adaptation took Broadway by storm, with Lane and Broderick in the key roles. The production would bring Lane, and producer Brooks, Tony awards. That led to another Producers movie, starring Lane and Broderick, released last year.
In the celebration on Hollywood Boulevard, Mel Brooks joked with the audience, then congratulated the actors.
"But seriously, ladies and germs, without Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, I would be living in a little motel just around the corner here trying to make ends meet. These people have contributed to my welfare in every way," said Mr. Brooks. "And a brushstroke of truth, I like them both very much. I really think that they are great and talented. Let us hear it for these talented guys."
Roughly 2,300 performers have been given stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Matthew Broderick said he is thrilled to have his among the others. He also issued a plea to people passing by on Hollywood Boulevard.
"It is a real joy to feel like you are part of a tradition and part of show business, at least for a while," he said. "And I hope you all will remember to curb your dogs when walking in this area."
Broderick's wife, actress Sarah Jessica Parker, flew to Los Angeles from New York for the occasion. Hundreds of fans crowded the sidewalk to get a glimpse of the actors.
"[I am a] big fan of both of them, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. Two enormous talents," said one fan who turned out for the event.
Nathan Lane thanked friends and fans for attending the ceremony.
"My heartfelt thanks," he said. "I am truly touched, and it is a great honor. And thank you all for coming."
Hollywood's honorary mayor, Johnny Grant, proclaimed the day Matthew Broderick-Nathan Lane Day in Hollywood. And settling the question of who would get top billing, he added something.
"We will go over to tomorrow and make it Nathan Lane-Matthew Broderick Day in Hollywood," he said.
Broderick and Lane are again working together on Broadway, starring in the revival of the Neil Simon comedy The Odd Couple.