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Stage : Musicals

NATIONAL TOUR 2009/2010

YoungFrankensteinTheMusical.com       

 

EXCLUSIVE TOUR PHOTOS!

 

Monster Cake Photo

(tour opening night in Providence)

"Opening night Cake!!
All that monster is edible!
Pure cake!"

 

 

CAST:

Shuler Hensley The Monster
Roger Bart Dr. Frederick Frankenstein
Cory English Igor
Brad Oscar Inspector Kemp/Hermit
Beth Curry Elizabeth
Joanna Glushak Frau Blucher
Anne Horak Inga
Ensemble: Lawrence Alexander, Preston Truman Boyd, Stephen Carrasco, Jennifer Lee Crowl, James Gray, Shauna Hoskin, Matthew Brandon Hutchens, Kristin Marie Johnson, Sara Lin Johnson, Melina Kalomas, Amanda Kloots-Larsen, Brittany Marcin, Chuck Rea, Christopher Ryan, Lara Seibert, Geo Serry, Jennifer Smith, Matthew Vargo, Eric Walck

CREATIVE TEAM:

Mel Brooks Book, Composer & Lyricist, Producer
Thomas Meehan Book
Susan Stroman Director /Choreographer
Robin Wagner Set Design
William Ivey Long Costume Design
Peter Kaczorowski Lighting Design
Jonathan Deans Sound Design

 

VENUES   .....   DATES   .....   NEWS   .....   REVIEWS   .....   INTERVIEWS

 

"Funny photos from Providence! Radio interview with Beth Curry (Elizabeth)"

Providence, Performing Arts Center, Sept 29 - Oct 4, 2009 

Fabulous 25 minute special from WPRI :

 

DON'T MISS: YF is in Providence. Feature at WPRI.com has 6 great videos (2 with Shuler!)
and: Monster Mash. Interview with Shuler by the Providence Phoenix

turnto10.com 1 min video of Shuler and Roger puttin on the ritz at PPAC. 
Musical expected to boost RI economy. 2 min video at WPRI.com

YF tour prepares to come alive at Providence
. Feature at projo.com
YF leaps from Broadway to the road. Interview with Roger Bart at projo.com
Mel Brooks lauds YF cast at projo.com
Young Frankenstein actor has R.I. ties. Interview with Brad Oscar at Warwick Beacon. “We’ll be in Chicago for six weeks and Washington for four,” Brad said. “We’ll be working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, plus New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with no break. We really don’t live normal lives.”

REVIEWS
"Bart, who played Frederick on Broadway for more than a year, has the role down cold. And he’s got a sweet tenor to boot. The other Broadway cast member who turns up in the tour is hulking Shuler Hensley as the monster, a very talented monster who brings down the house in the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” scene, when Dr. F brings him to the local theater to show off his creation." projo.com

"By the end of this show, you'll want stand up, stick your arms out and start grunting the number, "Putting on the Ritz!" It'll make you feel as alive as The Monster himself." Sun Chronicle


 

Hartford, The Bushnell, Oct 6 - 11, 2009

"Young Frankenstein" Putting on the Bushnell. NBC Connecticut

REVIEWS
"Brad Oscar does expert double duty as Inspector Kemp and the Blind Man, the latter scoring big in a single scene with Hensley's Monster. Hensley is frightfully funny here and throughout the show - and nowhere more so than in 'Puttin' on the Ritz,' where the Monster discovers his inner song-and-dance man. The number provides a moment of human - well, almost human - transformation when absurdity, musicality and the entire show really come alive." Variety

"The 'Puttin' on the Ritz' dance number with the Monster (Shuler Hensley) and Frederick in top hats and tails is one of the most endearing scenes in Act II. You can't help but root for the monster and against the villagers who want to destroy him. If you're a fan of Mel Brooks and have a broad sense of humor, you'll enjoy this musical." Hartford Courant

"Definitely don’t miss this one. It’s as close to Broadway as you can get without traveling the two and half hours." CurtainUp

"When the show-stopping Irving Berlin number Puttin’ On The Ritz finally arrives, it’s the hands-down standout all-tapping, all-singing, all-fun theatrical example of what justifies all the fuss about Roger Bart and Shuler Hensley. These two luminous stars are joined again for a big finish to Puttin’ On The Ritz by the brilliant ensemble in one of those moments that makes great musical theater a joy forever."  The Resident

 

Cleveland, Palace Theatre, Oct 13 - 25, 2009

DON'T MISS: From the Monster's Mouth - 'Frankenstein' singing-dancing star says it's great to be green on Broadway and on tour. Great interview with Shuler from the Cleveland Morning Journal.
and: Walk this way for Mel Brooks' own take on Frankenstein. Interview with Mel Brooks at Cleveland.com has a 10 min YouTube video of the entire Puttin on the Ritz routine (Broadway cast).

Young Frankenstein revives movie on stage. Interview with Roger Bart at Ohio.com
Brooks, Meehan create monsters. Interview with Thomas Meehan at The News-Herald
A fun show comes to life, but not without snag. On Stage, Cleveland.com

REVIEWS
"Boy, did I have a blast at Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks’ Broadway-musical version of his classic screen comedy ..... Shuler Hensley brings more laughs as Frankenstein’s green-faced Monster, whether being unwittingly abused by a lonely blind man (Brad Oscar), romantically ravished by Frederick’s fiancée (Beth Curry), or showcasing unexpected Busby Berkeley-style moves in the big tap-happy production number Puttin’ On the Ritz.”

DON'T MISS: full review at CantonRep.com

"The audience members came to be entertained, and they were not disappointed. Young Frankenstein entertains from the moment the curtain goes up through the curtain call .... Monster falls in love (or lust) with Elizabeth (Beth Curry). Together they bring one of the funniest scenes ever written to the stage. Curry’s rendition of Deep Love, a song in praise of making love with the monster, almost stops the show. This is one of the naughtiest songs to cross the orchestra pit and bounce to the balcony .... Of course, the best scene in the show is Puttin’ on the Ritz. Most of the cast sing, dance and seem to have a great time entertaining the audience. When the monster attempts to say Puttin’ on the Ritz the audience laughed, applauded and cheered .... This is an excellent production. Note that Bart and Hensley played their roles on Broadway, and 6 members of the ensemble were in the Broadway production. This is a superb cast and the production is entertaining." Akron.com, full review here 

 

Columbus, Ohio Theatre, Oct 27 - Nov 1, 2009

Monster Mash. Feature article from the Columbus Dispatch/no longer online.
"As the monster, Hensley just about fits the part: He weighs 265 pounds and stands 6 feet 3 inches.
The 4-inch platform shoes he wears during the show make him even more imposing. 'I'm a big clown by nature," Hensley said. 'Because of my size, I was operatically trained. My demeanor onstage tends to lend itself to the heavy... How nice it is to find a project to use the other funny side of my demeanor. The monster, the most grotesque of all the characters, is actually the straight guy. I'm probably the sanest one in the whole show, surrounded by crazy people. This creature wants to be loved and accepted. He has all the qualities that a child would have coming into the world, but in a 7-foot, 400-pound body'."

REVIEWS
"Funniest of all the characters is the Monster, played by an awkward and hulking Shuler Hensley, while the funniest scene involves his painful encounter with a lonely blind hermit. Brad Oscar, as the hermit, sets us up for the slapstick bonanza by belting out the lament Please Send Me Someone with Al Jolson-style, down-on-one-knee fervor." The Other Paper, Columbus's News & Entertainment Weekly

"As the Monster, Shuler Hensley is almost lovable while building a convincing character mostly without dialogue. His reactions to other characters resonate as very human despite his green face and stiff, lumbering gait .... Bart and Hensley lead the ensemble in tap-dancing variations that keep topping themselves. The classy best moments, though, may be when the Monster dances with his own giant shadow and then fails to keep up. Super duper? You betcha." Columbus Dispatch

 

Chicago, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Nov 3 - Dec 13, 2009

It's alive ... and hoofing it up - Monstrous dance number defines Young Frankenstein. Feature at nwi.com.
"Hensley, a hulking straightman in greenface who stand 6-foot-7 in his platform boots, 'can hear mumbles' as the big number approaches. 'They're just waiting for the Monster (to start slurring), Puinnnn' on the rizzzz,' he said. For the Monster, it's his turn 'to have fun and break loose. My mom was a ballet director, so I know the whole feeling,' he said. 'When you can't express yourself in any other way, you gotta dance! The Monster gets a chance to do that'."
Roger's On the Road Again! Nice interview with Roger Bart at Theatermania.
"Bart .... is in a comfort zone for another reason: He is reunited on tour with two of his Great White Way co-stars, Shuler Hensley as the Monster and Cory English as Igor ... 'I am very lucky to have them around me and hope they feel the same' gushes Bart, whose laugh is sometimes a literal 'heh-heh' to cue you for a punchline or to suggest he has something to hide. 'At least, they'd better feel the same' ... The audience response has been 'thrilling' says Bart. He's also been awed by the community pride being lavished on the many vaudeville houses and cinemas, now converted into state-of-the-art theaters, he's encountered on the road."

REVIEWS
"Throughout it all, Shuler Hensley shows what a comic master he is as the big bellowing green Monster who also can hoof with the best of them. And be sure to stay tuned for Hensley's gorgeous operatic baritone voice at the end." Daily Herald

"And of course there is the fantastic hoofing spectacle of Puttin' on the Ritz with shadowplay, full chorus line and tapping Monster. Shuler Hensley is a most winning hulk." Sun-Times

"And let’s not forget Shuler Hensley, another original cast member, who graces the stage as the Monster. His escapades lead him from tap dancing to a full blown all cast rendition of Puttin’ on the Ritz, some serious love making with the soon to be Bride of Frankenstein, and eventually philosophically speculating on the meaning of life while simultaneously saving Frederick from his doom." North by Northwestern

 

Washington DC, Opera House, Dec 15, 2009 - Jan 10, 2010

DON'T MISS: Green, Mean Laugh Machine. Shuler, Roger and Brad discuss their roles with Express Night Out/Washington Post

Frankenstein gets 2nd chance. Feature from the Washington Post.
"To cast the role of the Monster, Stroman looked for a different set of qualities altogether. 'We had a lot of just big guys come in. It wasn't enough' she says. But with Hensley, they knew they had found their man. He had won a Tony for his work in Oklahoma! and it just so happens he's 6 ft 3. 'He has not only the comic chops to do the Mel Brooks material, but you really feel for the monster' Stroman says. Shuler's costume -6in tall monster boots and a 2in prosthetic forehead - helped transform him completely into the formidable Monster."

REVIEWS
" ... best of all, the efforts by the clumsy Monster (the fabulous Shuler Hensley) to display Astaire-like savoir-faire in a black-tie sendup of Puttin' On the Ritz ... Under padding and green makeup, Hensley creates a fully fleshed-out character; somehow even the jerky limb movements convey something endearingly human. His physicality, balletic in its ungainliness, fuels the musical's funniest sequence, which the actor performs in tandem with the exceedingly well used Brad Oscar. It's the scene in which the blind hermit, played by Oscar, has his prayers for companionship answered when the monster bursts into his cottage, and a series of classic slapstick bits ensue." Washington Post

" Reprising their roles from the original Broadway run are Roger Bart as Frederick Frankenstein and Shuler Hensley as the Monster. Bart is the perfect straight man for the half-crazed antics of the residents of Transylvania Heights, his voice is strong and he dances in a careless manner that reminded me of Fred Astaire just playing around. Hensley’s physical performance is impressive, but it’s his heart that comes through and the audience is on his side from the beginning." Washington Life

" ... the bumbling, hulking man-beast has you in stitches from the moment he starts to belt out barely decipherable lines. The sight of the horror genre's most famous character parading around stage in topcoat and tails and lumbering his way through a 1920s dance routine is hilarious." Washington Times

"Hensley is the standout of the cast, and not just because he's covered in green makeup: he's the straight man to all of the silliness swirling about him." A. V. Club Washington DC

"Roger Bart, reprising his Broadway turn as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, is pretty great, ditto Shuler Hensley (another veteran of the show’s Broadway run) as the Creature. And it turns out that the film’s highlight (the Doctor and his creation shuffle-ball-changing their way through Puttin’ on the Ritz) is even more spirited, more inventive and, let’s be honest, more enjoyable as it’s staged here. Makes sense, after all, that moment is as much about Broadway as it is about the characters, so Stroman’s choreography builds slowly and steadily to an old-school Big Payoff." Washington City Paper

"The most surprising actor in this musical is none other than Shuler Hensley. Hensley does a great job of blending the dichotomy of the bestial monster with the emerging civilized monster. At times, he is quite a stitch." Occam's Razor

 

Baltimore, Hippodrome Theatre, Jan 12 - 24, 2010

Huge thanks to Shuler's makeup artist Brandon Claflin for this sensational photo! 

REVIEWS
"Shuler Hensley excels in the Monster role. Hensley's tap dance in Irving Berlin's Puttin' on the Ritz is alone worth the price of admission." Broadway World.com

"The cast gets spiritedly into the proceedings. Re-creating their Broadway roles are Roger Bart, whose Frankenstein is alive with vocal and physical nuance, and Shuler Hensley, whose monster proves a most endearing fellow." Baltimore Sun

 

Atlanta, The Fabulous Fox Theatre, Jan 26 - 31, 2010

In-depth interview with Roger Bart at Broadway World.com

REVIEWS
"The Monster is played by our own homegrown Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical superstar Shuler Hensley (he won these awards for his sterling portrayal of Jud Fry in Oklahoma! on both sides of the Atlantic). He makes a burly and fearsome green Monster, but one whose loneliness tugs at the heartstrings. The only disappointment with Mr. Hensley’s appearance is that he doesn’t get to sing enough; as you may know, his voice is a glorious instrument.  But he gets to display a manic-comic side one might not have expected, especially in Puttin’ on the Ritz. And he and Elizabeth (it’s love at first sight) are over the moon in Deep Love.” Atlanta INtown

"Scaled-down from its monster-size construction, deliciously performed by a first-rate company of over-the-top comedians and featuring a gently affecting turn by Marietta native Shuler Hensley as the misunderstood monster, Young Frankenstein transmogrifies the low-brow shtick of the 1974 film into a relentlessly silly musical comedy that tickles but never overtaxes the brain .... performance-wise, Young Frank does have its moments, particularly the strobe-lit Puttin’ on the Ritz number that has Hensley dancing in front of a mirror-image that morphs into a chorus line of tap-dancing, top-hat-wearing Fred Astaire wannabes in giant platform shoes. Hensley (who won a Tony Award for Trevor Nunn’s Oklahoma!) has never performed professionally in Atlanta, so his presence is a noteworthy event in itself. Though his magnificent baritone instrument is seriously underused here, he gets to grunt and bellow and look so hurt and unloved at times that it’s nearly heartbreaking." Wendell Brock, accessAtlanta

 

East Lansing, Wharton Center, Feb 2 - 7, 2010

Young Frankenstein actor enjoys doing the Brooks brand of humor. Interview with Roger Bart and Beth Curry, What's On/no longer online
"While the musical adds a dozen songs and angry villagers that dance, there is much from the film that remains in the musical. Curry said one of her favorite moments is still the Puttin' on the Ritz number where the monster tries to sing and dance. 'We're putting on a rather larger-than-life love letter to old-fashioned horror movies ' Bart said."

REVIEWS
"Both Bart and Hensley originated their roles on Broadway, and they embody their characters with ease that’s fun to watch ..... The signature number Puttin' on The Ritz is every bit the showstopper it was meant to be ..... This is a must-see show." City Pulse

 

Minneapolis, Orpheum Theatre, Feb 9 - 14, 2010

A big ol' monster : Young Frankenstein looks for new life on the road. TwinCities.com/no longer online
"To cast the role of the Monster, Stroman looked for a different set of qualities altogether. "We had a lot of just big guys come in. It wasn't enough," she says. But with Hensley, they knew they had found their man. He had won a Tony for his work in Oklahoma! and it just so happens he's 6-foot-3. "He has not only the comic chops to do the Mel Brooks material, but you really feel for the monster" Stroman says. Shuler's costume (6 inch tall monster boots and a 2 inch prosthetic forehead) helped transform him completely into the formidable Monster.

REVIEWS
"Hensley's big green Monster is a comic joy." Minneapolis Star Tribune 

"Shuler Hensley reprises his Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle-nominated role as The Monster and he manages to give the character, who speaks mainly in nearly-unintelligible grunts and squeals, dimension and humanity ... All three (Shuler, Roger, Cory) have terrific chemistry with each other and with the material." Broadway World.com

"Another gem in the cast, whose talents were masked all through the first act, was the Monster played by Shuler Hensley. Hensley’s buttery smooth bass notes are hidden until the end of Act II ... Act II is also home to the Monster’s coming out number, Puttin’ on the Ritz, perhaps the most infamous and Vaudeville-esque scene of the show that is fully equipped with top hats, tap dancing, and an ensemble kick line ... In a nutshell, it’s dirty, it’s cute, and ITS ALIVE!" Examiner.com 

 

Kansas City, Music Hall,  Feb 16 - 21, 2010

REVIEWS
"Roger Bart, Shuler Hensley and Cory English appear to be having a great time reprising their Broadway roles .... Curiously it is Hensley's performance that transcends the material. Despite the absurd context, his Monster - a hulking, stiff-legged, green-hued, inarticulate creature - affects us much the same way as Boris Karloff's did in the 1930s. He's the ultimate social outcast, of course, but when through a bit of scientific trickery he is allowed to speak with lyrical eloquence before the final curtain, we're reminded that there was a real person trapped inside all along. It's not the sort of thing you expect in a show this unrelentingly silly, but that's the wonderful thing about actors. Sometimes they're magicians." KansasCity.com 

 

Detroit, Opera House, Feb 23 - March 14, 2010

Mel Brooks adds some romance to his classic comedy Young Frankenstein. Detroit Free Press/no longer online
"Roger Bart and Shuler Hensley have been playing Frankenstein and his monster since the show opened, with Hensley undergoing a grueling, hours-long makeup process nightly."

 

Toronto, The Princess of Wales, March 16 - April 18, 2010

Young Frankenstein is alive and singing in Toronto. MetroNews.CA
According to the man who plays the monster, Brooks is as brilliant a musician as he is a comedian. “Mel was originally a jazz drummer, and his jokes always have perfect rhythm,” explains Shuler Hensley at the Princess of Wales Theatre. “He’s completely suited to write musical theatre. For his films, he wrote all his own music. I think he’s always wanted to write an Old School musical like this one. I think music has always been Mel’s true passion,” says Shuler, whose diverse stage credits include the lead in both Phantom of the Opera and the atonal opera Wozzeck. “Music and comedy is in wonderful balance here. It’s all about setting up the big juicy jokes.”

REVIEWS
"Shuler Hensley as the monster hit all the right notes of clumsiness and grace, topped by a faultless, plus-sized performance of Puttin’ On The Ritz." Canoe 

"Roger Bart is terrific replaying the Frederick Frankenstein role he created on Broadway. So is Shuler Hensley recreating the good doctor's Monster ... This is monster comedy and monster song and dance." TheSpec.com

"His creation is played, most endearingly, by Shuler Hensley." National Post

 

Shuler was away from the tour during May/June to appear in
PARADISE FOUND in London.
His Monster replacement was RYE MULLIS.

 

San Francisco, Golden Gate Theatre, June 30 - July 25, 2010

REVIEWS
"Hensley is a first-rate Monster, bellowing and tapping up a storm as Stroman's endlessly inventive 'Ritz' number keeps topping itself until Hensley's me-and-my-shadow routine gives way to a high-kicking chorus of tap-dancing clones." San Francisco Chronicle

"Shuler Hensley, an accomplished Broadway actor re-creating his role as the monster from the original New York production ... infuses the DIY creature with hints of humanity and a strong comic sense." Bay Area Reporter

"The applause meter went hot for the more treasured scenes, especially the performance of Brad Oscar as the Hermit and the classic cabin scene with the Monster, played by the hulking Shuler Hensley." San Francisco Sentinel

"Shuler Hensley as the monster does shine in Puttin on the Ritz. He sounds just like the original in the film, looks genuinely modest in the cave man scene where Elizabeth hits her high notes and discovers the sweet mystery of life with her zipperneck, and manages to sound as suave as Cary Grant after the transfer with his maker. That Ritz sequence has been worked into a big song and dance number with the entire cast and chorus, including ingenious and old fashioned imagery such as the monster’s solo projecting an enormous shadow behind him only to have it demonstrate a mind of it’s own." Examiner.com

"Shuler Hensley (The Monster) is with the touring show and gives a great performance .... He is superb and he brings down the house in the inventive Puttin’ on the Ritz scene, when he cavorts in black tie and tails ending when the me-and-my-shadow routine morphs into a high-kicking chorus of tap-dancing monster clones." ForAllEvents.com

"Brad Oscar as the Hermit ... sings “Please Send Me Someone” but when “that someone” turns out to be The Monster (well-played by Shuler Hensley), the action that follows is an absolute riot ... But the show-stopper of show-stoppers is “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” the humorous, tap-dancing duet performed with top hat and cane by Dr. Frankenstein and the inarticulate, foot-clomping Monster. This classic number does not disappoint." SF Station

BeyondChron RAVE: BRILLIANT ELECTRIFYING STUFF IN ‘YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN’

 

Los Angeles, Pantages Theatre, July 27 - Aug 8, 2010

REVIEWS
"Led by a terrific set of leads, every single member of the company sings and dances with great enthusiasm, talent and gusto .... And finally, as Frankenstein's Monster himself, Hensley (reprising the role he also originated in the Broadway production) does impressive work as usual, most notably in his showstopping moment warbling through Irving Berlin's Puttin' On The Ritz. Hensley proves that he is powerfully imposing in both comedy as he is in dramatic work (watch his DVD-captured, Tony-winning performance in Trevor Nunn's terrific revival of Oklahoma!)" BroadwayWorld.com 

"Shuler Hensley makes the Monster an agile and loveable piece of work." BroadwayWorld.com

"Shuler Hensley does the Monster perfectly, from soup to nuts." Hollywood Reporter

"As the blind hermit who tries to befriend the monster, Brad Oscar ignites the best re-created scene, in which the old man ladles steaming soup into the lap of Hensley's hapless creature, poignantly craving connection yet rightly fearful of his host." L A Times

"... the Monster (an excellent Shuler Hensley.) ... As the monster, Shuler Hensley had the easy - or made it look easy - job. He had to look menacing, bigger than life, ferocious while simultaneously be likable, perfect a monosyllabic vocabulary and possess cool dance moves. Even with his humongous platform boots,  Hensley wasn’t clumsy or awkward... Young Frankenstein is a great show to watch. The laughter, the roaring dialogue and the musical aspect makes you wish it stayed a little longer." Entertainment Today