Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan

'Producers' pair bring 'Frankenstein' to Broadway

Though their legendary collaboration “The Producers” — the phenomenon that won 12 Tonys — closed in April, Brooks and Meehan have now co-written the book to arguably the most highly anticipated show of the Broadway season, “Young Frankenstein,” based on Brooks’ film.

The in-demand Meehan also has a potential sleeper hit in “Cry-Baby,” based on the John Waters movie, which opened at the La Jolla Playhouse this month and will arrive on Broadway in the spring. Meehan co-wrote the book with Mark O’Donnell, who was also his co-book writer on “Hairspray,” another Waters adaptation that this year had a second life — or, actually, third life — as a successful movie musical.

Point of view

“I’m calmer, quieter,” Meehan says, comparing himself to Brooks. “He’s more wildly extroverted. We are an odd couple. … What he does with me is (say), ‘I’ve got a great idea. What do you think?’ And I’ll say, ‘It stinks.’ I can tell him no.”

On bouncing between two Broadway musicals rehearsing at the same time — “Young Frankenstein” and “Cry-Baby” — Meehan adds, “Going back and forth, it’s like having a wife and a mistress.”