Mel Brooks was busy this afternoon in L.A. making some notes on the CD of “Young Frankenstein,” which the cast recorded last Monday in a 12-hour session. He told me it will go out on the Decca label. Orchestrator Doug Besterman produced the album and Mel promises, “It is wonderful.” He remains in L.A. through the Thanksgiving and year-end holidays. The show, on stage in the non-strike-affected Hilton Theater, continues “completely sold out,” he says, “I’m sorry we can’t help those who can’t see the other (strike-bound) shows. He said he is depressed by the side-effects of the strike — like the empty restaurant haunts of the usual theatergoers.
Brooks went on stage to join his longtime friend and partner Carl Reiner at the Garenia last Friday night. Friends and relations subbed in a tribute to club regular performer Estelle Reiner who promises to return next month. In addition to Brooks Friday’s show boasted the surprise musical performances by the Reiners’ children Annie and Lucas–who brought down the house.
Meanwhile, Rob Reiner is readying for his appearance at Carnegie Hall, Nov. 26 when he not only hosts the Lifetime Achievement Award gala concert to Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, but Rob will also sing “Poison Ivy” with Mike Stoller on the piano. Rob directed “Stand by Me” in 1986 featuring the title tune by the honorees. Jerry Leiber will perform their “Kansas City,” Other family performers include Corky Hale (“Loving You”) and Tricia Tahara Stoller, Natalie Cole sings “I’m a Woman,” Marvin Hamlisch conducts his overture of their hits. Film clips will include Peggy Lee on “Is That All There Is?” and Elvis and Big Mama Thornton on “Hound Dog,” Elvis solo’s “Jailhouse Rock.” The evening benefits The Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation. While in N.Y. for the concert, Stoller will also have meetings with Iris Dart on his upcoming musical, “Laughing Matter.”