Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein, the musical, is based on the 1974 movie, Young Frankenstein, which starred Gene Wilder as Frederick Frankenstein, Marty Feldman as Igor, his assistant, and Terri Garr as Inga.
Brooks added music and dance and staged it as a Broadway musical in 2007. Critics praised the unique dances and hilarious musical numbers. Audiences fell in love with it, even though most of them knew the plot and could see the jokes coming. Sometimes they whinnied when Frau Blucher’s name was mentioned.
The plot: Frederick Frankenstein, grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, inherits his grandfather’s Transylvania estate. He has no intention of continuing the work of his late grandfather, but is drawn in after he meets Igor, grandson of Victor’s assistant Igor, Inga, an attractive local lass, and Fau Blucher, Victor’s housekeeper. Frederick must struggle against antagonistic villagers, the unexpected visit of his fiance, Elizabeth, apparent failure in the lab, and, eventually, the consequences of his experiment.
Content: There is a very small amount of “mature” language and a lot of innuendo. Adults will find the references humourous, while most of it will go right over the heads of younger audiences. Certainly, the content is mild by today’s standards.
Musical highlights: Frederick and Igor dance a music hall style duet in “Together Again”, Frederick’s ancestors appear in a dream to urge him on in “Join the Family Business”, Igor teaches the villagers a crazy dance in “Transylvania Mania”, and tap-dancing monsters appear in “Puttin’ on the Ritz”. Inga, Elizabeth, and Frau Blucher have solo numbers. Even the “monster” sings at the end of Act 2.