ABC has announced a special musical presentation of ‘Young Frankenstein Live!’ to air in the fall, with Mel Brooks attached to produce. ‘Young Frankenstein’ originated as one of Brooks’ classic film spoofs, which was first released in 1974. In 2007, Brooks converted the film into a successful Broadway musical, which also became a touring show. The show as slightly revised for its run in London’s West End. Prior to that, Brooks had stuck gold by adapting his 1967 movie ‘The Producers’ into a stage musical, which earned a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards.
No further details have been revealed about this televised version, including the cast. The original film was released by 20th Century Fox, which is now owned by Disney, which also owns ABC, so that could explain this corporate synergy.
Last fall, ABC aired ‘The Little Mermaid Live!’, a unique mixture of the original animated movie, with live performances by Auliʻi Cravalho (as Ariel), Queen Latifah (Ursula), Shaggy (Sebastian), John Stamos (Chef Louis), and more. The special was a ratings smash, but received mixed feedback. But these musical TV specials are all pretty hit or miss, so who knows how ‘Young Frankenstein Live!’ will turn out.
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As for Brooks’ original film, it is one of the most beloved comedies of all time. It was a box office smash upon its release and has since been classified as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the United States National Film Preservation Board, and selected for preservation in the Library of Congress National Film Registry. Brooks co-wrote the film with its star Gene Wilder, who portrayed Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of Victor Frankenstein. The cast also included Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars, and Madeline Kahn.
The Broadway musical was directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman and featured ‘Will & Grace’s Megan Mullally in the role of Elizabeth. That cast also included Roger Bart, Christopher Fitzgerald, Sutton Foster, Andrea Martin, Shuler Hensley, Beth Leavel and Fred Applegate.
Are you a fan of ‘Young Frankenstein’– the film or the musical? Check back for updates!