Will Brooks' Young Frankenstein Play Seattle?

News   Will Brooks' Young Frankenstein Play Seattle? Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan's follow-up to The Producers, a musical version of Young Frankenstein, may have its pre-Broadway tryout in Seattle, Variety reported, citing Brooks.

Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks

Seattle is the town that launched the biggest blockbuster since The ProducersHairspray. The Producers had its debut in Chicago, spurring that city's current status as favored tryout town. Since the Brooks bow, Movin' Out, Sweet Smell of Success and Bounce have all tested the critical waters in the Windy City.

Meehan recently told Playbill On-Line that he and Brooks have completed the first act and nine songs for their new project, a stage musical version of the Brooks film "Young Frankenstein."

Meehan said the show has been on hold while he's been busy with Bombay Dreams, the Broadway show for which he contributed libretto work. Following its opening on April 29, the two will meet and begin work anew.

The writers have been laboring on the script since early 2003. Susan Stroman, who piloted The Producers, will also direct the new collaboration, according to past reports.

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, one imagines this number would be retained in any legitimate adaptation (if the Berlin estate OKs 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 role for which Kristin Chenoweth is reportedly being sought; 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).

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