Everyone knows the success Brooks has had with The Producers metamorphosis from film to stage and I believe everyone is hoping the same will hold true for Young Frankenstein.
Problems cropped up when it was revealed that while Leachman had met with producers, apparently did a table read and even sang a few bars, she was told later that her services wouldn't be needed after all.
In fact, they told her the standby line of "we've decided to go in a different direction." Oh, I know that phrase so well, and have used it numerous times. It can mean anything from, well, the producers have decided to go in a different direction; younger, older, fatter, thinner, any number of different directions.
I said either here, or on Army Archerd's blog that I couldn't see myself spending any greenbacks to see a production WITHOUT the original Frau Blucher, if indeed, Ms. Leachman were available. I think I was stung by the fact that word leaked (from Brooks himself) that said, in essence, Leachman was too old for the part and they were afraid she wouldn't be able to survive the rigors of 8 shows a week.
Now, I don't know if any of this is true; why she was ultimately passed over, whether or not she could handle the boards for a six day work week with two matinees or if she just didn't meet expectations.
Word is that tickets are now on sale for out of town previews being held at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, Washington.
Now, I find myself in a dilemma. First of all, I'm still ticked that Leachman won't be in the production. But I can't help but feel a tingle of excitement that the show will actually be mounted, and features a cast that includes the very talented Roger Bart (Producers, Desperate Housewives), Megan Mullally as Elizabeth, the role made famous by Madeline Kahn, and the amazingly underrated Andrea Martin (SCTV).
Part of me wants to buy my tickets and head up to Seattle (great excuse to visit some friends) and see if the stage version lives up to expectation. But another part of me would rather not since I feel Leachman kinda got dissed.
Oh, if only Mel Brooks would let her perform a night or two during previews, Leachman could then bow out after that and save face by saying it was more work than she had planned, or it just wasn't her cup of tea or whatever. Then I wouldn't feel guilty about wanting to see this show so much.
Wow, am I living in a fantasy world or what? I should just bite the bullet and make a decision....but which one?