BROOKS’S LUCKY STRIKE
THE OLD adage about football managers — that it is better to be lucky than good — might apply to stage producers.
Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks’s latest Broadway juggernaut, rolled into New York last week and was met with mixed reviews. Apparently the throwaway humour that made Brooks’s The Producers a recordbreaking hit is laid on too thickly and a touch too obviously this time around. Maybe when it arrives in London, as it surely will, the show will have a lighter touch.
But with a monster price tag of $450 (around £225) for a top ticket (production costs have reportedly run to $16 million), Young Frankenstein was always going to invite a value-formoney judgment that did not apply to the competing shows on Broadway (of which Notebook can particularly recommend the thrilling show Spring Awakening).
Yet the week after Brooks’s show opened, most of its competition has closed down because of a stagehands’ strike that, at the time of writing, has gone into its fifth day.
The industrial dispute has left only a handful of Broadway shows running, one of which, to give the show its full title, is The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein.
Of the 35 Broadway shows that should be on offer, only a few are left running to tempt the punters. Notebook does not doubt that Mr Brooks — who has said that God knows that Young Frankenstein is a great show and will forgive anyone who pushes little old ladies out of the queue in order to get a ticket — only wishes for a fair and swift resolution to the strike.