Does “Young Frankenstein” finally have a cast?
Though no confirmations have gone out, word on the Rialto is that Roger Bart has nabbed the lead role of Dr. Frankenstein in Mel Brooks’ new tuner adaptation of his 1974 comedy, with Christopher Fitzgerald cast as Igor.
If the casting news proves correct, Bart and Fitzgerald join an ensemble that likely will include Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) in the Madeline Kahn role of Dr. Frank’s fiancee Elizabeth, Sutton Foster (“The Drowsy Chaperone”) in the Teri Garr part of lab assistant Inga and Shuler Hensley (“Tarzan”) as Frankenstein’s monster, played by Peter Boyle in the film.
There’s no indication yet of who will scare the horses as housekeeper Frau Blucher, though the original idea of having Cloris Leachman reprise her screen role has been abandoned.
Bart originated the role of Carmen Ghia in “The Producers,” Brooks’ Tony-winning box office smash based on another of his pics. During the production’s six-year run, the thesp also did stints playing the lead role of nervous accountant Leo Bloom. TV and film credits for Bart include “Desperate Housewives,” “The Stepford Wives” and Lionsgate’s upcoming “Hostel: Part II.” He won the featured actor in a musical Tony in 1999 for “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
Fitzgerald, who played Boq in the original Broadway cast of “Wicked,” earned strong reviews this season for his turn Off Broadway in “Gutenberg! The Musical” and again over the past weekend in the short-run Encores! revue “Stairway to Paradise.”
Legiters are keeping a watchful eye on “Young Frankenstein,” which is expected to turn into a major hit along the lines of “The Producers.” Show reunites the same creative team, including helmer-choreographer Susan Stroman and co-book writer Thomas Meehan.
“Frankenstein” will have its out-of-town tryout Aug. 4-Sept. 1 at the Paramount Theater in Seattle. After that, it heads for Gotham, where it was originally booked at the St. James, the former home of the “Producers,” before word got out that creatives had set their sights on the Hilton, current home of “The Pirate Queen.” “Frankenstein” is planned to open on Broadway around Halloween.