How hard is it to make a Broadway musical? Back in 2001, Mel Brooks made it look awfully easy. He transferred to the stage one of his most beloved movie comedies, The Producers; wrote some new songs himself (words and music); hired an ideally matched pair of stars, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, and the result was the biggest Broadway hit of its day. Now Brooks' lightning looks like it's ready to strike once more. This time it will reanimate another of his beloved films, Young Frankenstein, again with songs by Broadway's oldest amateur, Brooks (with help from Irving Berlin's Puttin' on the Ritz), and direction by one of its slickest pros, Susan Stroman, who also did The Producers. The show is having its tryout in Seattle and is opening on Broadway Nov. 8. Get ready to fight for tickets even at an unheard-of top price (for "premier" seats) of $450.
Instead of big names, the cast this time is a mix of Broadway and TV stalwarts: Roger Bart, who was the gay assistant in The Producers, plays Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, grandson of the famous mad genius who inherits the family castle; Megan Mullally (of Will & Grace) is his fiancé; Shuler Hensley plays the monster; Sutton Foster (star of The Drowsy Chaperone) is Inga and Andrea Martin inhabits Frau Blucher, the horse-frightening character played by Cloris Leachman in the film. And if they bring Brooks another hit, maybe it's time to start polishing up those songs for Silent Movie.
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