Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another One Bites The Dust

Another One Bites The Dust

Despite never knowing for certain just how shaky Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein has been faring at the box office (although with the deep discounts it's been offering, the writing's been on the wall), it's been an open secret that the show was in need of a major jolt to keep it going.

Alas, this evening, it was announced that the tuner adapted by Brooks from his cult film comedy classic would close on January 4, 2009, after 484 regular performances.

And you know what? As much as I actually enjoyed myself the first time I saw the show during its Seattle tryouts, I have to say good riddance.

Punch drunk from the enormous success of The Producers, which won more Tony Awards than any other Broadway show in history, Brooks & Co. did everything conceivable in their power to alienate virtually everyone against Young Frankenstein, starting when they circled the Hilton Theatre and its previous occupant like vultures, followed by his infamous snub of Cloris Leachman, followed by their greedy announcement that they'd have the audacity to charge a record-breaking $450 for premium seats, followed by the decision not to follow Broadway precedent by releasing weekly grosses.

By the time the show finally opened, most critics had their knives out. Never mind that it actually was kind of entertaining. Now, the jig is up, and I dare say no one is crying over the loss of this one.

If ever there was a textbook example of how not to open a show or engender goodwill on the Great White Way, this is the one they'll be studying for years. Let's just hope they've learned a valuable lesson that won't soon be repeated.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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