Wednesday, December 19, 2007

See Young Frankenstein!

Ben Brantley, the film critic of the New York Times, did not give Young Frankenstein, the new Mel Brooks musical, a particularly good review. Having now seen Young Frankenstein, as well as a variety of other musicals that Mr. Brantley did not like, I have come to the conclusion that he is has seen one show too many in his life, and, unless the show involves rhesus monkeys singing in a modal key, he isn't interested. Because Young Frankenstein hit a 4/4 in our family review, with me, the lovely wife and boys 1 and 2 all thinking it was a great night out. And none of us were great fans of the original movie.

The show, which is based on the move, is playing at the Hilton Theater, whose 1800 seats are on 42nd Street on 7th Avenue. Recently renovated, the theater is one of the few on Broadway that actually provides reasonable amounts of leg room.

The show itself moves fast, and the songs are funny, particularly "He vas My Boyfriend," sung by Andrea Martin, "Join the Family Business," sung by Roger Bart and "Transylvania Mania," sung by the cast and led by Christopher Fitzgerald. When you see Shuler Hensley as the monster in "Puttin' on the Ritz," you will never look at Irving Berlin the same way again (ok, maybe its just me, but everyone should have an opinion on Berlin). The movie kind of drags in places, but the music and dancing in the show smooth out these areas to make a funny concept much better.

The dancing is great to watch, in that Mel Brooks does Busby Berkeley kind of way, and the sets and costumes are excellent. The tourists are leaving in two weeks, and its time to see the show! I even bought the album on i-tunes! And if you don't mind the sex jokes, your kids will love it, too.


Lisa said...

I AM HORRIFIED to hear that you were not a fan of the original movie. There are other families who can quote entire passages verbatim from this masterpeice. That said, I was sad to see the bad reviews for the show, and though I worry about your take on the movie, I will take your advice to see the show.

Ira.B said...

movie a bit long in tooth; show cleans up some of the slow parts. lw agrees.