The New Mel Brook Musical Young Frankenstein opened officially on Thursday evening, November 8, at the cavernous Hilton Theater in New York.
I’ll let you Google the reviews if you’re interested. Expect a lot of complaints about how it falls short of the original (surprise!), how the songs are less than memorable, and whether the whole thing is worth those “premium” $450 seats. On the plus side, everyone agrees that Sutton Foster (Inga) and Andrea Martin (Frau Blucher) are splendid, and it’s very nice to see that Shuler Hensley, no stranger to the part of The Monster, stomps away with the show.
The New York Time’s Ben Brantley — besides calling the spectacle an ear-splitting, overblown burlesque — says, “Shuler Hensley is terrific, turning Frankenstein’s monster into the most human character onstage” and singles out his Puttin’ On The Ritz as the show’s “one truly exhilarating number”. Newsday’s Linda Winer says Hensley “makes a splendidly human creature”. By the way, the Newsday page has a video sampler of musical numbers.
Mel Brook’s previous film-turned-into-a-Broadway-musical, The Producers, was then turned back into a new film. Assuming the Young Frankenstein musical is successful, should we brace ourselves for a new musical film version?
We’ll see, but if Young Frankenstein circles back to the movies, let’s hope they lock Shuler Hensley into The Monster’s role.
Shuler Hensley’s website has tons of photos and articles from the musical, and from Van Helsing as well.