THREE REASONS to see Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein,” provided there is ever a reasonably-priced ticket: (1) the sheer showbiz history of this effort to produce another hit like “The Producers” (Impossible!); (2) because you are a fan of the black and white movie and want to see how they translated that classic to the stage; and (3) a cast that contains some incredible talents. … The last one is what matters most. The delectable Sutton Foster who bursts onto the stage like a ripe peach with beautiful long legs. Andrea Martin comes into her own again as Frau Blucher. Christopher Fitzgerald makes for an adorable hunchback, Igor. “The Monster,” Shuler Hensley, grows on you. This musical is awfully loud and exhausting. I adore its leading man, the gifted Roger Bart. He is valiant but if his voice holds out over the din, I’ll be surprised. And I don’t know how Megan Mullally — who has her moments — can sing a horrid song like “Deep Love” eight times a week.
OWEN WILSON is easing his way back into public life. He appeared — looking good — at the Rolex Mentor & Protege Arts Initiative gala in Lincoln Center this week. Sitting next to Miss Universe, Japan’s Riyo Mori, he was attentive and she seemed flattered. Others at the table included Stephen and Kennya Baldwin. Who are the mentors? Martin Scorsese, painter Rebecca Horn, Youssou N’Dour, writer Wole Soyinka, actress Kate Valk and choreographer Jiri Kylian … Mamie Van Doren is still very much alive and high-kicking. A minor bombshell who was major fun, she is launching a line of collectible wines, Mamietage. Each wine label features nude poses of the “High School Confidential” star, from age 21 to now. Mamie has kept her figure and — obviously — her confidence. For connoisseurs, the wine itself is a Bordeaux blend. For other connoisseurs — naked pictures of Mamie. … At Le Cirque — Larry King taking bows, TV food star Sandra Lee, Andrea Bocelli who comes in with a gang of friends. Bill Cosby roaming the room as a “make-believe” maitre d’.
THERE ARE very few genuine glamorous dynamite ’40s/’50s-style ladies left to us these days. But the playwright and actor Charles Busch is one. His “Die Mommie Die!” at New World Stages is a massive tribute to Joan Crawford and Bette Davis and every other actress who ever paused dramatically on the stairs and gave the audience a piercing look. This play includes everything but the kitchen sink; it’s lots of fun and the cast enthusiastic. … When I went backstage, I asked, “Charles, are you going to go straight again and write another comedy for Broadway?” (The story Charles wrote about his own family in “The Allergist’s Wife” ran almost two years.) Charles just laughed and then complained about the undergarment he was wearing, a slip that didn’t come up to snuff.