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14

FRIDAY

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I was more than ready to actively despise Broadway’s version of The Producers. After all, so much of its praise was coming from snooty New Yorkers. Tina Brown raved? So what? The idea that its being on Broadway somehow legitimized the 1968 film set my hackles aflame, because the original film, with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder, resides atop the pantheon of modern comic cinema. As wildly talented as Nathan Lane is, he lacks Mostel’s dangerous heft. And Matthew Broderick will always be Ferris Bueller. So imagine my delight to find myself in the theater, laughing and clapping like a birthday boy at Chuck E. Cheese’s. That the play retained probably 85 percent of the original dialogue was vindication. Still, as legitimately entertaining as the play is, the film remains the definitive version. Thus, any opportunity to see it on a screen is to be taken. Wear your cardboard belt to tonight’s screening, at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Mary Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-5677. (Dave Nuttycombe)