The Producers and Hairspray both began as movies, became musicals, and then turned into movie musicals. I have little doubt the new musical Young Frankenstein will follow the same footsteps.
It’s still in previews and has its flaws, but mostly it’s a lot of fun. From some really funny moments to a giant Frankenstein lab with lightning, Romanian and swing dancing, and Megan Mullally, Roger Bart, Christopher Fitzgerald, Sutton Foster and Andrea Martin, it’s a good time. Unfortunately my dormant memories of Haunted Honeymoon and Transylvania 6-5000 kept popping up. Thankfully few people have seen these movies.
Regional theatres all over the US have had financial difficulties for over a decade. One of the problems is getting audiences interested in new work which wasn’t written by someone they already know, and doesn’t star someone they’ve already seen (preferably a star). The musical blockbusters on Broadway, based on films, with big name stars, is a way to attract enough audiences to pay for such big productions. But is this theatre a living artform if it continually recycles ideas? Certainly every idea is a combination of new and old, but when the producers only want to risk already proven plots and characters, less new work gets a chance on stage. Instead you get Carrie the Musical and Clueless.
All that said, I’m so happy I got to see Andrea Martin as Frau Blucher. (Even I fell for the well loved stars and characters.)
- Truce of Press and Theatre Previews
- Across the Universe, The Power of Myth, 1967
- If You Get Points, Is It Art?
- While you’re dancing like a zombie, remember choreographer Michael Peters
posted by Trout Monfalco