Saturday, August 11, 2007
Following on the heels of his successful Broadway hit "The Producers," Mel Brooks has brought his 1974 comedy "Young Frankenstein" to the stage.
"Young Frankenstein" opens on Broadway in November, but we had the opportunity to see the show previewed in Seattle this week.
Brooks, who picked up three Tony awards for his stage version of "The Producers," was in town for the world premiere of this latest musical extravaganza. (He is a small man, I was pleased to discover).
Brooks, who wrote the songs and co-wrote the book for this show, stays close to the screenplay he and Gene Wilder crafted for the '74 film. The sets and staging are spectacular, and the show brings enough cinematic flair to the stage to make it visually arresting while at the same time "Young Frankenstein" is still very much a stage musical.
"Together Again for the First Time," "He Vas My Boyfriend," "Transylvania Mania," and the crowd-pleasing "Puttin' On the Ritz" are favorites among the cleverly conceived and effectively choreographed songs which Brooks has added to the familiar Frankenstein tale.
It's tough to fill roles already identified by other actors, but Roger Bart, Meagan Mullally and Andrea Martin head a solid and very funny cast as Frederick Frankenstein, his finance Elizabeth and Frau Blucher.
"Young Frankenstein" is entertaining, it's bright, it's funny. If you are in Seattle or New York, Mel Brooks needs you to see it.