Mel Brooks Preparing Young Frankenstein Revival With 2 New Songs

News   Mel Brooks Preparing Young Frankenstein Revival With 2 New Songs
The original film also is returning to cinemas in October.
Original Broadway cast members (L-R): Roger Bart, Sutton Foster and Christopher Fitzgerald.
Original Broadway cast members (L-R): Roger Bart, Sutton Foster and Christopher Fitzgerald. Paul Kolnik

Mel Brooks says he and director Susan Stroman are preparing the musical adaptation of his film Young Frankenstein for a London revival in 2017.

Brooks said in an interview with Yahoo that they are planning a “streamlined version” of the 2007 Broadway musical. “I’ve added a great song called ‘It Could Work,’ by Dr. Fronkensteen. I’ve added a great number called ‘Hang Him ’Til He’s Dead,’ by Inspector Kemp — you know, ‘give him a fair trial… and then hang him ’til he’s dead!’ And it’s going to be in a theatre in the West End in London about a year from now, and then if it really works, and people really love it, I’ll take it back to New York in a nice little theatre. We won’t do an over-blown production like we did originally [at Broadway's largest theatre, the Hilton, now the Lyric]. It’ll be fabulous.”

Stroman directed the original Broadway production of Young Frankenstein after winning a Tony for staging Brooks’ The Producers in 2001. Brooks called her “a genius” and said, “When she did The Scottsboro Boys, she hired a genius guy who does crazy sets, all kinds of imaginative sets. His name is Beowulf Boritt — you can imagine how crazy he is! And he said, ‘You know, you have that scene where Marty Feldman (who plays Igor) says, ‘No, I can’t throw the third switch, it’s too dangerous! I can’t, I can’t, it’s too dangerous!’ And Gene says, ‘Throw it, damn your eyes, throw it!’ After this scene’s big fight, when Marty Feldman/Igor finally throws the switch, Boritt says, ‘I’m going to blow up the theater! Not just what’s on stage, but I’m going to rig the edges of the balcony, the ceiling. I’m going to scare the s**t out of that audience, because they’ll know the third switch was a little too dangerous.’ He said it’ll really be a theatrical moment. That should keep audiences on their toes. It might kill a few people, but it’s worth it! We’ll put it on the ticket: ‘Be seated at your own risk.‘ Until the third switch is thrown, they won’t know what the hell that’s about, but when that theater rocks, it’s going to be an event.”

Brooks offered no further details about dates, a theatre, producers or casting.

In related news, the original 1974 film of Young Frankenstein is headed back to 500 cinemas across North America. Brooks himself will host a live-streamed introduction to the screening, which is being hosted on October 5 by Fathom Events. Brooks reportedly will conduct the audience on a tour of the 20th Century Fox studio lot where the film was shot, and will include a live tribute to the film‘s star, legendary comic actor Gene Wilder, who died last week.

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