by Martin Brady
When: Through May 15
Where: TPAC's Jackson Hall
$27.50 - $72.50
After astounding theatrical success with the musical version of his 1968 film The Producers, the indefatigable Mel Brooks attempted a similar stage reanimation of his 1974 comic homage to classic Hollywood horror. Reviews for the new version of Young Frankenstein were mixed, but the show managed nearly 500 Broadway performances, and its original cast included such talented and funny ladies as Sutton Foster, Megan Mullally and Andrea Martin. Touring began in fall 2009, then stopped and started again, and now Nashville gets to witness what Brooks hath wrought as composer, lyricist and co-author (along with his reliable partner Thomas Meehan) of the show’s book.
Brooks’ characteristic ribaldry and penchant for punning are here, plus numbers with big laugh potential such as “Transylvania Mania,” “He Vas My Boyfriend” and a glitzy, strobe-lit “Puttin’ on the Ritz” (starring the monster himself). Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle aren’t here, of course, and the black-and-white contrast of James Whale’s 1931 Frankenstein flick — part of Brooks’ inspiration for the original parody — is also missing. But five-time Tony-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman helms the production, and the creator’s many fans should get their money’s worth.