Two years after they left the roles of theatrical conmen Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick may return to the scene of the crime. Reuters reports that the pair are negotiating for a three-month return engagement on Broadway in ''The Producers,'' the musical they helped make into the biggest New York stage hit of recent years. They'd likely come back in January 2004, nearly two years after they ended their year-long run in the show.
It's not quite a done deal. ''Discussions are taking place between the producers and Nathan and Matthew about the possibility of returning to the show,'' show spokesman John Barlow told Reuters. ''When they come back and for how long is still to be determined.'' Nonetheless, the rumor of their return, which first appeared in Wednesday's New York Post, sent hundreds of ticketbuyers to line up at the St. James Theater before it opened at 10 o'clock Wednesday morning, Reuters reports.
Based on Mel Brooks' 1968 movie, ''The Producers'' was an enormous hit from the time it opened in the spring of 2001, thanks in no small part to Lane and Broderick, who created the stage roles of Bialystock and Bloom. During their run, the show was frequently sold out (it's been selling at 85 percent capacity since, Barlow says), and it won a record 12 Tonys, including a Best Actor trophy for Lane (who beat fellow nominee Broderick).