Hensley and Bart Put on the Ritz on the Road in Young Frankenstein
By Kenneth Jones
Tony Award winners Roger Bart and Shuler Hensley reprise their Broadway roles as Young Frankenstein and his Monster, respectively, in the national tour of Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan's musical comedy, launching Sept. 29-Oct. 4 in Providence, RI, at Providence Performing Arts Center.
Bart is a Tony Award winner for You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Hensley won his Tony for playing Jud in Oklahoma!
Director-choreographer Susan Stroman's road cast also includes Cory English (Igor), Tony Award nominee Brad Oscar (Inspector Kemp/Blind Hermit), Beth Curry (Elizabeth), Joanna Glushak (Frau Blucher) and Anne Horak (Inga).
Stroman had the chance to delve into the material again for the national tour. She told Playbill magazine correspondent Sheryl Flatow, "I always look forward to having a second shot, because I don't have to worry about the lights or the costumes or the sets. I'm only dealing with the actors. It's a great opportunity to explore the actual written piece in a different way. When a new company comes together, you give them the freedom to discover, and you see where it takes them."
The company also features Preston Truman Boyd, Stephen Carrasco, Jennifer Lee Crowl, James Gray, Shauna Hoskin, Matthew Brandon Hutchens, Kristin Marie Johnson, Sara Lin Johnson, Melina Kalomas, Amanda Kloots-Larsen, Brittany Marcin, Christopher Ryan, Lara Seibert, Geo Serry, Jennifer Smith, Matthew Vargo and Eric Walck.
Young Frankenstein features a book by three-time Tony Award winner Brooks and three-time Tony Award winner Meehan and music and lyrics by Brooks. Stroman has won five Tonys. Musical supervision is by Glen Kelly (The Producers).
The production team includes three Tony Award winning designers of The Producers: three-time Tony Award winning set designer Robin Wagner, four-time Tony Award winning costume designer William Ivey Long and Tony Award winning lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski. Jonathan Deans is the sound designer.
Young Frankenstein is produced by The Frankel Baruch Viertel Routh Group and NETworks Presentations LLC.
The musical ran at Broadway's Hilton Theatre Oct. 11, 2007-Jan. 4, 2009. It played 485 performances.
Here's show producers characterize the show: "Based on the Oscar-nominated smash hit 1974 film, Young Frankenstein is the wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Mary Shelley classic from the comic genius of Mel Brooks. When Frederick Frankenstein, an esteemed New York brain surgeon and professor, inherits a castle and laboratory in Transylvania from his grandfather, deranged genius Victor Von Frankenstein, he faces a dilemma. Does he continue to run from his family's tortured past or does he stay in Transylvania to carry on his grandfather's mad experiments reanimating the dead and, in the process, fall in love with his sexy lab assistant Inga?"
Here's the Young Frankenstein tour route through January 2010. The tour continues into 2010.
Hartford, The Bushnell, Oct. 6-11
For more information on Young Frankenstein, visit www.YoungFrankensteinTheMusical.com.
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