NEW BERN, N.C. — What started as a trip to visit family, serendipitously bridged an Eastern North Carolina community theater and the biggest stage: Broadway.

Eric Gunhus heard through his parents that the New Bern Civic Theatre was doing a production of “The Producers.” He reached out to the show’s director, Keith Boyd, to provide a rare glimpse into the original Broadway production.

Gunhus wanted an opportunity to connect with the cast since the show meant so much to him. On Thursday night, he shared words of wisdom, along with hilarious stories about his world-famous co-stars.

Within six months of moving to the Big Apple, Eric earned the role of lead tenor in “The Producers.” He was notably the lead stormtrooper.

“I was walking down 18th Street and I got a call from my agent,” says Gunhus. “He asked if I was sitting down. I said ‘Why?’ Because I got cast in ‘The Producers.’ I sat down, then I called my parents.”

In the play, two scammers attempt to produce the most offensive musical they could: a love letter to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Performing in it was fate, as the 1967 movie that inspired the Broadway show was his grandmother’s favorite.

Eric described his time with the show as one of the craziest experiences of his life. It was wildly successful.

“The Producers” runs on weekends from November 4-19. Tickets are on sale now at, or can be purchased at the box office at 414 Pollock St. Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.