We gave it a B-
In 2001, Mel Brooks refashioned his 1968 cult-fave film The Producers into a freakishly successful Broadway musical. Now he’s tapped the same key creative team to repeat the trick with Young Frankenstein, his brilliant 1974 sendup (co-written with its star, Gene Wilder) of old Universal monster flicks. The result plays like Spamalot on steroids: a lavish but rote reenactment that piles enormous visual invention (and thin, derivative pastiche songs) onto a text that many viewers know by heart.
As tormented Frederick Frankenstein — er, Fronkensteen — Roger Bart works up the biggest sweat. Literally. And he screws his voice up into a screech that makes him sound like Mario Cantone after too much espresso. Will & Grace‘s Megan Mullally takes a game stab at haughty-fiancée shtick, Christopher Fitzgerald makes a sweetly humpy Igor, Shuler Hensley delivers good monster mime, and Sutton Foster yodels spectacularly as Inga, the shapely lab assistant. But keyed to Bart, they often mug and vamp to excess. Only Andrea Martin, as bitchy Frau Blucher, counters the amped-up vibe, underplaying magnificently. Say it with me: Ovaltine! Schwanzstucker! Abby Normal! Sedagive! Wait, they cut that one. There: You’ve got the gist, and you didn’t have to spring for the $450 seats. B- (Tickets: 212-307-4100 or Ticketmaster.com)