Goode shines Light, Frankenstein lives

Jul 11

Goode shines <i>Light</i>, <i>Frankenstein</i> lives

If you need proof of how lively and diverse the San Francisco theater scene can be, let me direct your attention to two wildly different shows I've seen recently. One is about as old fashioned as it gets, while the other is wonderfully experimental.

For sheer retro-musical theater pleasures, Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein – at the Golden Gate Theatre until July 25 – is a prime example of Grade B goods. There was a time on Broadway – think the 1950s and early '60s – when these kinds of shows populated the Great White Way. Taking the term "musical comedy" to heart, these shows have no objective other than to please its audience for a couple of hours. A few laughs, a few hummable tunes, and we're done.

With The Producers Brooks fulfilled a lifelong passion to create a musical theater blockbuster. Now Brooks is settling into his groove with Young Frankenstein, an extremely faithful version of his classic 1974 movie (co-written with star Gene Wilder). As a recycler of his own material, Brooks sticks to the formula that worked for the movie and supplies songs that, while not as catchy as those in The Producers, are appealing.

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Ramping up to the Tony Awards

Jun 11

This Sunday, the Tony Awards will be handed out. Here’s what you need to know (and get busy organizing your Tony party — we’ve got to get those dismal ratings out of the basement so CBS will continue broadcasting the darn things). For the first time, there will be pre-ceremony Tony Concert chock full of juicy musical numbers from all the nominated...

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Megan Cavanagh is into `Out of This World’

Jun 05

Actor Megan Cavanagh has the kind of living arrangement you might see on a TV sitcom – in fact, you should see it on a TV sitcom. Every time she tells someone about her house and her family, someone inevitably says, “You should totally write a show about that!” Here’s the deal: Cavanagh was married, as she puts it, “many moons ago,”...

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Review: `Squeeze Box’

May 26

At The Marsh in San Francisco through June 29   Ann Randolph wrote and stars in Squeeze Box at The Marsh. The solo show is about her loss and rediscovery of faith. Superb solo show squeezes out laughs, drama«««1/2 Extraordinary characters   There are certain people who, when they recommend a show, I snap to attention and see the show. One of those people...

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Show tunes! `Young Frankenstein,’ `Xanadu’

Feb 28

Am I getting old and cranky or are show tunes getting crappy? Probably a little of both, and I should say very quickly that there’s plenty of new show music that is thrilling, moving, funny, etc. But I’ve been listening to the cast albums for Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein and the against-all-odds hit stage adaptation of Xanadu. And I really dislike...

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It’s alive!

Aug 25

Mel Brooks’ new musical comedy adaptation of Young Frankenstein, based on his and Gene Wilder’s 1974 movie of the same name, opened in its pre-Broadway tryout last week in Seattle. The two major critics, Misha Barton of the Seattle Times and Joe Adcock of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, had differing views on the show, which stars Roger Bart as Victor...

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