Broadway’s Young Frankenstein will close on January 4.
The spectacular, $16-million musical, adapted by Mel Brooks from his own film of 1974, officially opened on November 8, 2007. The end comes after 484 performances and some 30 previews, far short of the six-year run enjoyed by Brook’s The Producers.
“Broadway is Dry-Eyed as Monster Falls Hard”, writes Patricia Cohen of The New York Times, suggesting that bad marketing decisions were chiefly responsible for the show’s demise. Problems included filling a gigantic 1800-seat theater and sticker shock, with top tickets going for a record-setting, stick-em-up $480 apiece. By the spring of ‘08, ticket prices were adjusted downwards and cast salaries were slashed by as much as fifty percent, but sales remained sluggish. With the current economic downturn starting to bite, the show’s producers decided to call it quits. In a difficult season when an unusually large number of high-end Broadway shows are folding, the bloated and beleaguered Young Frankenstein was doomed.
The producers claim that the show will return with a national tour in the fall of 2009. Rumor has it that Cloris Leachman is being lured back to reprise the Frau Blucher part she originated in the film.
Patricia Cohen’s article in The New York Times.
Young Frankenstein To Close in January 2009 on Playbill.