Thursday, October 13, 2016

Young Frankenstein: The Musical - CD soundtrack

Young Frankenstein
by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan [Compact Disc 782.14 Young, and Hoopla digital service]

Gene Wilder and Mel Brook’s 1974 film masterpiece Young Frankenstein, starring Wilder, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, Peter Boyle and Cloris Leachman, was transformed into a Broadway musical sensation in 2007, enjoying over 480 performances on Broadway before closing in 2009. It then became a popular touring show, and has now become available for local theaters to produce their own versions in regional and community theaters. Anyone familiar with the classic old film knows that there were really only two noteworthy pieces of music (other than the background soundtrack) — the haunting violin piece that calms the monster’s anger, and the show biz standard “Putting on the Ritz”, to which Dr. Frankenstein and The Monster do a soft-shoe routine before things go awry. For this big show, Brooks and Thomas Meehan (who, together, also turned Brooks’ film The Producers into a successful Broadway musical), crafted 21 songs and dance numbers. Playing off of moments both small and large in the film, entire production numbers are built around Frederick’s lecture to his medical students (“The Brain”), fiancee Elizabeth’s odd behavior (“Please Don’t Touch Me”), the familial connect between Frederick and Igor (“Together Again for the First Time”), Frau Blucher’s illicit relationship with Frederick’s grandfather (“He Vas My Boyfriend”), and so much more.

The performances on this original Broadway cast album include Roger Bart as Frederick, Megan Mulally as Elizabeth, Christopher Fitzgerald as Igor, Sutton Foster as Inga, Andrea Martin as Frau Blucher and Sherman Hensley as The Monster. All turn in terrific singing jobs, making me wish I’d seen this cast perform the show. Young Frankenstein will be performed at Lincoln’s own TADA Theatre in the Haymarket the final three weekends in October, in case you’d like to see it performed live. Otherwise, I highly recommend this Broadway soundtrack!

[If you enjoy the goofiness of this musical, you may also wish to try The Producers, also by Mel Brooks.]

[ Wikipedia page for Young Frankenstein: The Musical ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you listened to this one, or seen this show? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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