In 1974, Mel Brooks directed two of film’s all-time-great comedies, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. If the latter shines brighter in hindsight, it’s due to a giddily silly riff on Mary Shelley’s timeless story and a sense of humor much smarter than Brooks lets on. When he found massive, Broadway success with a musical version of The Producers in the early 2000s, it seemed sensible to give Young Frankenstein a theatrical treatment as well.
Young Frankenstein runs for only four days, so catch it while you can.
The Young Frankenstein musical hit Broadway in 2007 to mixed reviews. It’s hard to say how much of that reaction was due to the looming shadow of The Producers, but Young Frankenstein‘s Broadway run ended after a little over a year of performances. There’s nothing about the film version to suggest it couldn’t easily transfer to the stage, however; its structure is sturdier and more grounded than most of Brooks’ other output. Characters like Frederick Frankenstein, Frau Blucher and The Monster are wonderful comic creations, and the iconic “Puttin’ on the Ritz” number begs for razzle-dazzle execution.
Broadway Olympia Productions is here to give Young Frankenstein a fair shake with its own production, directed by Pavlina Morris. “I’m an enormous fan of the film,” says Morris, “which is definitely in my top 10. I was fortunate enough to see the original production of the musical, when it was at the Paramount before going to Broadway, and it was such a great experience. … I’ve seen a number of productions of it since then, and I can’t get enough of it … so I was thrilled when Broadway Olympia offered me the directing position.”
8 p.m. Thursday – Sunday, March 28-31;
2 p.m. Saturday – Sunday, March 30-31
The Capitol Theater,
206 Fifth Ave. E, Olympia