Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bart's Back: Bad Omen?

Bart's Back: Bad Omen?

It's never a good sign when one of the key principals in a new show is out with an injury, but that's the case with Roger Bart in Young Frankenstein. Bart has been sidelined, at least temporarily, with a lower back injury. As a result, he's missed some performances since the October 13 matinee.

First I heard of it was via Chris Caggiano of Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals, who posted his scathing review of the show on Monday. Chris saw understudy Matthew LaBanca in the role of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, whom he described as "game and energetic, and almost letter-perfect in his knowledge of the role. The audience didn't seem to care that the actor playing the title character was out." A pity about the show itself.

Over at the New York Post, columnist Michael Riedel uses the opportunity to joke about the show:
Roger Bart, will be out at least until the weekend due to a bad back. (And he hasn't even read his reviews yet.)

Riedel goes on to say that the dark horse in this year's Tony derby may very well be Cry-Baby, especially since the buzz he's hearing out the Hilton Theatre ain't that great about Mel and his new show.

What's that line from the "Cell Block Tango"? Something about "He had it coming!"?!

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 24 October, 2007, Blogger Esther said...

Well, I know how painful back problems can be, so I certainly wish Roger Bart a full and speedy recovery.

I'm seeing "Young Frankenstein" a week from Monday, and from everything I've read, it looks as if I'll be seeing Matthew LaBanca. I'm a little disappointed, but not terribly so. It's more the show I want to see, and how it pays homage to the movie, rather than any one single actor. I'm still excited about it!

I guess this is part of the roll of the dice when you see a live performance - there's always a chance an actor you've come to see will be out. Still I don't know if "Young Frankenstein" is as much of a star vehicle the way "The Producers" was with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.

At 24 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I join you in wishing the talented Roger Bart a full and speedy recovery.

You'll recall from my "Preview," I enjoyed Young Frankenstein out in Seattle. I haven't enjoyed all the other nonsense Mr. Brooks has created, including the $450 seat, withholding of weekly grosses, etc. But I do think that fans of the film will enjoy the stage production.

At 24 October, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Young Frankestein could prove to be a "critic-proof" show. Brantley seems to be hell-bent on becoming the next Frank Rich, albeit he's focusing more on writing witty cut-downs than providing true theatre criticism. Let's not forget that Wicked and Phantom were not NY critics' darlings and that has not stopped them from being world wide theatrical juggernauts.

Competition between Cry-Baby and YF will be healthy for both shows.


At 24 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Michael, Ben Brantley is no Frank Rich....

You have a great point regarding the critic-proof nature of YF. But the pricey shenanigans don't exactly make it audience friendly.

At 24 October, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There Is alway Someone who will pay!

Lets hope for common sense
These prices have to stop

At 25 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Yes, Anonymous, it's probably the Brits and Europeans who can take advantage of the deplorably low value of the dollar and not feel too terribly pinched!

At 25 October, 2007, Blogger Mondschein said...

I'm seeing YF tonight - disappointed that Mr. Bart is out. But, what are ya gonna do? Since I'm sitting up in the nosebleed balcony, it may not matter much.

At 25 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Mondschein, You know I'll be looking forward to getting your take!

At 25 October, 2007, Blogger LizG said...

Oooohhh...Looks like Stro's choreography strikes again...Nathan L also threw his back out in The Producers during the London run. I wonder which musical number was the coup de grâce for Roger B...

Is there a link to Michael Riedel's scathing review?...I couldn't find on The Post's site.


At 25 October, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Liz, Michael Riedel hasn't actually "reviewed" the show yet, but I did link to the most recent story in my story. Here it is again.

At 09 November, 2007, Anonymous jabei said...

I saw the show on Tuesday night..and as a Brit on holiday I DID take advantage of the poor seat worked out to £65, which is comparable to the price I paid for Spamalot when it opened in London last year. It's not cheap but not the rip-off I'm guessing many of you are feeling it to be.

unlike the Producers which I loved (the show..not the original film)
I went into YF loving the original film...therefore, I didn't get the bellylaughs because I knew all the gags....and I knew them from watching, frankly, funnier people delivering them on film.
Spamalot suffered the same problem for me as a Python fan, but it was taken to another level by the musical numbers...Unfortunately, this isn't...the music is unmemorable.
Did I enjoy it?....certainly
Would I watch it again?...Definitely
Was it disappointing based on expectation?....'fraid so,

At 09 November, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Jabie, Thanks so much for your comments. Sounds like you had the sort of time that most of the more charitable critics owned up to... like Charles Spencer of the Telegraph, whom I met in the audience of another show.

Like you, I enjoyed it and wouldn't mind seeing it again, but I wouldn't pay the top price ever.


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