Roger Bart Not Yet Back in Young Frankenstein; Opening Remains Nov. 8

News   Roger Bart Not Yet Back in Young Frankenstein; Opening Remains Nov. 8
Tony Award winner Roger Bart, the titular mad scientist of Young Frankenstein, the new Mel Brooks musical at Broadway's Hilton Theatre, has continued to be sidelined by a lower back injury.

Roger Bart in Young Frankenstein.
Roger Bart in Young Frankenstein. Photo by Paul Kolnik

The show, now in previews toward a Nov. 8 opening, has been without its Dr. Frederick Frankenstein since the Oct. 13 matinee.

"He is responding well to treatment and is expected to return to the show shortly," according to a recent statement. A spokesman said Oct. 26 that his return to the show could be imminent, and that the Nov. 8 opening date is still planned.

The first to report his return will likely be internet message board posters who have been following the progress of the new musical by the creators of The Producers.


Ensemble member and understudy Matthew LaBanca (making his Broadway debut) has gone on for Bart, and will continue to do so until Bart returns. Bart is a Tony Award winner for You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (he played Snoopy) and was Tony-nominated for playing Carmen Ghia in Mel Brooks' The Producers. He also starred in Lincoln Center Theater's The Frogs. His film and TV credits include "Desperate Housewives" and the "The Stepford Wives."

Bart played the heir of the Frankenstein family in the world premiere of the musical comedy in August at Seattle's Paramount Theatre, where a tryout ran for a month before the cast and crew headed back into September Manhattan rehearsals toward an Oct. 11 first preview.

Susan Stroman directs and choreographs the new musical based on the hit film comedy that had a screenplay Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder. Brooks and Meehan penned the new musical's libretto; Brooks wrote the music and lyrics.

Matthew LaBanca appeared in the Children and Art gala at the New Amsterdam Theatre, toured as Simeon in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and appeared in productions at Paper Mill Playhouse, Theater Under the Stars. He also toured nationally in productions of Crazy for You and Anything Goes.


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