“Young Frankenstein” the Mel Brooks musical at The Theater Barn [Berkshire on Stage]

August 27th, 2013, 1:00 pm by Sara
The cast poses for a rehearsal photo of Young Frankenstein.

The cast poses for a rehearsal photo of Young Frankenstein.

Theatre Review by Gail M. Burns

Okay gang, buy tickets to see Young Frankenstein at The Theater Barn, fire up the Way Back Machine, set your sense of humor to “Junior High,” and you’ll have a ball. Set it any higher and you may be disappointed (high brow it ain’t!) but there are many worse ways to spend a summer evening than laughing your ass off at the stuff you used to find hilarious back in the day.

After Mel Brooks had a Broadway mega-hit in 2001 with his musical stage adaptation of his film The Producers, it was only natural that people would clamor for an encore. Blazing Saddles had too many horses and Silent Movie didn’t have them leaving the theatre humming, so Brooks and co-author Thomas Meehan (Brooks and Gene Wilder had written the screenplay) settled on Brooks’ iconic 1974 film Young Frankenstein. It opened on Broadway in 2007 and had a respectable 15 month run, but it was not the sensation that The Producers was.

Young Frankenstein is a VERY faithful adaptation of the film, so all your favorite jokes are there. “Put the candle back.” “Walk this way.” “My name is Frau Blücher (horse whinnies)” “Abby normal.” “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” etc. Of course the stage at The Theater Barn is tiny and the 15-person cast is large for this venue. But director Bert Bernardi makes excellent use of every inch of Abe Phelps’ two-story set and scene melts into scene effortlessly and convincingly.


Live: “Young Frankenstein” @ Proctors, 10/19/10

October 20th, 2010, 1:01 pm by Greg

Young Frankenstein @ Proctors Theatre, Schenectady

After transforming his classic 1968 film “The Producers,” into 2001’s record-breaking, 12-time Tony Award-winning blockbuster as a Broadway musical, only a fool would think that comic genius Mel Brooks wouldn’t go back to the well for another shot.

And, though he may have played one on film and television, Mel Brooks is certainly no fool.

And so, he whipped his 1974 B&W comic horror film nugget “Young Frankenstein,” into shape as a big stage musical to follow in footsteps of “The Producers.”

On Tuesday night, the touring production of what (at least according to the program) is officially titled “The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein,” hit the stage at Proctors in Schenectady before a full house of enthusiastic fans.

But the results are not quite as successful, as they were with “The Producers.”

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