2007_03_arts_frankenstein.JPGCasting for the stage production of Young Frankenstein has Cloris Leachman fans up in arms. Leachman originated the role of Frau Blucher in Mel Brooks' classic film and has just been let go from the Broadway production, which will hit the St. James Theater stage this Fall.

According to the New York Post, "the producers were so intent on having Cloris reprise her role as the hilariously sinister Frau Blucher that they flew her to New York at the end of last year for a table reading, where she brought down the house. This week the veteran Ms. Leachman, 80 years old, received a 'Dear John' letter from the future production of Young Frankenstein saying the producers, in their wisdom, had decided to keep their two properties - Young Frankenstein the movie, and Young Frankenstein the stage musical - apart. So they said they would not be offering her the role after all. Cloris is disappointed, I'm told, but handling the rejection with her usual good humor."

There are also reports of other casting issues, but with rumors of the musical opening on Halloween this year, we're guessing things should be straightened out soon. Susan Stroman, who collaborated with Brooks on The Producers, will direct and choreograph, and Tarzan's Shuler Hensley will play The Monster, but we can't imagine anyone topping Peter Boyle's performance in the movie version.