YoungF.jpgWill lightning strike twice for Mel Brooks, who hopes to enliven his stage adaptation of Young Frankenstein with the same spark that made The Producers a money making machine? His new monstrosity is already selling advance tickets for a Broadway run in October – a top ticket price of $450 sets a new record for excess – but last week Young Frankenstein came staggering out of the lab for an out-of-town rampage in Seattle. The haunting question at the show’s world premiere Thursday night was whether his 20 million dollar baby would be embraced by the Emerald City or get trampled by critics with torches and pitchforks.

Well, if not trampled, the spectacle was certainly well trod. While Seattlest observed that Young F-Stein “had the full house's rapt attention from the initial flash of lightning over Transylvania Heights,” one commenter was quick to point out that reviewer Audrey Hendrickson “forgot to mention how awful this production was.” The MSM remembered. Variety’s critic writes that “at 2¾ hours, [Young Frankenstein] needs to step out from its maker’s shadow, receive a couple more volts of electricity and go on a diet before hitting New York.” The Seattle Times objected to the show’s rote recycling of the movie’s one-liners, noting that “a less clonelike Young Frankenstein would be a better justification for all the expense and talent lavished on this celluloid spinoff when it lurches onto Broadway.” And The Stranger felt “the most exciting moments were a few almost-falls among the dancers.” Ouch.

Brooks himself was blissfully unaware of any such flaws at the premiere; his seatmate was the NY Post’s theater insider Michael Riedel, who reports that Brooks “laughed at all his jokes (some new, many old), sang along with all his songs and led the standing ovation for his cast.” Indeed, the indefatigable octogenarian is already plotting his third Broadway adaptation, a musical version of High Anxiety, Brooks’s 1977 Hitchcock parody. Does the thought of seeing more Brooks on Broadway give you high anxiety, or have you already sunk your $450 into his newest experiment?