Mullally, Foster and Hensley Set for Young Frankenstein

News   Mullally, Foster and Hensley Set for Young Frankenstein Mel Brooks may not have the dream team of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick for his second Broadway musical, but Young Frankenstein will boast a cast that features Tony Award winners Sutton Foster and Shuler Hensley as well as former "Will & Grace" star Megan Mullally.

Megan Mullally is set to return to Broadway in Young Frankenstein.
Megan Mullally is set to return to Broadway in Young Frankenstein.

The New York Post reports that Mullally, who recently hosted her own TV chat show, will play the role of Elizabeth, created in the 1974 film by the late Madeline Kahn. Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth, back on Broadway this season in The Apple Tree, had performed the role in the musical's workshop, but will be unable to play the part on Broadway because she recently landed a TV pilot.

Foster, the young Tony-winning actress currently on Broadway in the hit musical The Drowsy Chaperone, will play Inga (created on screen by Teri Garr), and Tarzan's Shuler Hensley — a Tony winner for his work in the Oklahoma! revival — will play the Monster (Peter Boyle in the film).

The New York daily also says that Roger Bart and Andrea Martin have been offered the roles of, respectively, Igor and Frau Blucher. Television roles, however, may prevent them from accepting those parts.

The role of Dr. Frankenstein has yet to be cast. Zachary Levi, who had been seen on ABC's "Less Than Perfect," had been offered the role, but he, too, landed a pilot and has departed the musical production. The Post says Mullally's "Will & Grace" co-star, Eric McCormack, is being considered for the Frankenstein role.

Mel Brooks' new musical, Young Frankenstein, with a score by Mel Brooks, a book by Brooks and Thomas Meehan and direction and choreography by Susan Stroman — the team that turned The Producers into gold — will play the coveted St. James Theatre. No dates have been announced. Best known for her role as Karen on the Emmy-winning NBC series "Will & Grace," Megan Mullally appeared on Broadway opposite Matthew Broderick in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and portrayed Marty in the most recent revival of Grease! Her one woman musical, Sweetheart, played a sold-out run in Los Angeles. She was also the host of "The Megan Mullally Show."

Sutton Foster received a Tony nomination for her work in the hit musical The Drowsy Chaperone at the Marquis Theatre. The singing actress starred in the title role of Thoroughly Modern Millie and received the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Astaire awards for that performance. She also received a Tony nomination for her performance in Little Women, and her other Broadway credits include roles in Les Misérables, Annie, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Grease!. Foster's regional and tour credits include What the World Needs Now, Dorian, Three Musketeers, South Pacific and The Will Rogers Follies.

Shuler Hensley, currently on Broadway in Tarzan, won a Tony Award for his work as Jud Fry, a role he created on the London stage to Olivier Award-winning effect, in the most recent Broadway revival of Oklahoma!. His other theatrical credits include Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Most Happy Fella. Hensley's numerous screen credits include "Van Helsing," "Ed," "Deadline," "Gary Powers," "Monday Night Mayhem," "Sabrina," "Someone Like You," "The Bread My Sweet," "Legend of Zorro" and "Opa!"

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The film starred Gene Wilder as a descendant of Dr. Frankenstein who goes to Eastern Europe and takes up his ancestor's hobbies, and Peter Boyle as the monster he creates. It was one of Brooks' most successful comedies, and, to many film critics, his most consistent and polished work. The movie, a parody of the classic horror films of the 1930s, was made in black and white and featured a famously hilarious scene in which the Frankenstein monster is presented to the public in top hat and tails, performing Irving Berlin's "Puttin' on the Ritz." Just as the stage version of The Producers kept the song "Springtime for Hitler" from the original film, this number will be retained in the legitimate adaptation (the Berlin estate OKed it).

Among the story's other characters are the doctor's fiancee (played in the movie by Madeline Kahn), who goes from a prissy virgin to a rapacious vixen with a Bride of Frankenstein hairdo; a comical hunchback (Marty Feldman), who insists on being called "Eye-gor"; a comely fräulein the doctor takes as his mistress (Teri Garr); Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman), a woman so frightening the mention of her name causes horses to rear up; and the rabble-rousing, speech-mangling Police Inspector Hans Wilhelm Friederich Kemp (Kenneth Mars).