Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mel Tells More

Great interview with Mel Brooks in yesterday’s Newsweek online shares lots more about the coming Broadway monster. 17 or 18 new songs, he predicts, and plenty corny at that. He quotes a couple of them, including “There Is Nothing Like the Brain,” Dr. Frankenstein’s lecture hall schtick.

Didn't the Scarecrow sing that one already?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Monster to Croon

We pass on the latest scoop from Liz Smith in Variety re Broadway Young Frankenstein. Today she reported chat over lunch with Laura Sillerman, whose husband, Robert F. X. Sillerman, partners with Mel Brooks on the monster’s coming stage extravaganza. New news: Brooks is writing music reminiscent of Cole Porter’s for the show.

Move over, Ritz. Let’s put on the monster.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Escapes Artist

Gene Wilder's got a new book, My French Whore, and its publication gave London's Daily Mail a chance to ask him some questions. He thumbs-upped the stage-musical version of The Producers but voiced skepticism about turning his own beloved monster screenplay into a musical.

“As for the musical of Young Frankenstein, which is a work in progress, I had a lot of doubts about that,” he told a Metro reporter in a piece posted today. “But I like Mel to be happy – he needs to work. So we’ll see. That opens in October, I think.”

Brooks gets the credit, but Wilder didn’t just wax wacko acting the part of Dr. Frahnkanshteen. The original play was his. Guess this monster escaped his creator’s clutches, just like Mary Shelley’s. I’ll bet—again, just like Mary Shelley—he’ll be in an early audience, cheering his offspring on.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Just following the rules

I'm joining the ranks of the technorati (is that anything like the intelligentsia? I hope so) by posting this passage. Technorati Profile

New Monster on the Way in UK

Britain's ITV1 has commissioned Impossible Pictures to create a 21st-century Frankenstein, which seems to mean in part that Dr. Frankenstein's a girl -- this according to a recent post on Digital Spy.

In a forthcoming two-hour special, "Frankenstein takes on a terrifying new dimension," says deputy controller of drama (how'd you like that job title?) Sally Haines. Presumably she speaks of the monster, not the lab-coated Victoria Frankenstein.

"Impossible's experience with creating CGI[computer-generated imagery] monsters has enabled us to bring to life Shelley's creation as never seen before," she promises.

A computer-generated monster -- that's almost Disney. Can't wait to see his yellow speculative eyes.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Best of...

At last, a monstrous reference that applauds the beast. Today's Motley Fool has a piece on picking and choosing among Internet search engines, suggesting that while we all like Google, it's not the best for every purpose.

We would all love to play Dr. Frankenstein, writes the Fool, "picking the best that each search engine has to offer."

In this case, the monster's the sum of all the best parts. I like this concept: a monster after my own heart.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Metrosexual Monster

Today's reference is a giggle. Barbara Ellen, opinion writer in The Nation, considers the metrosexual man a monster made by women.

"Women just wanted a new breed of guy, so we made him up in our heads," she writes, putting him together, a bit like a psychosexual Mr. Potato Head."

(Mr. Potato Head analogous to our favorite monster -- now there's an interesting spin-off...)

"Could it be that post-feminism has created its own Frankenstein's monster?" Ellen comes right out and says. She uses the metaphor not just for its monstrosity but for its ability to stand up and walk right on out the door without its maker, becoming what it wants to be.

"Be careful what you wish for," she concludes. It might just become your boyfriend.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Monster Cited in China

Politicians have been finding the monster useful in speeches since Lord Canning who, in 1824, predicted that slaves freed without an education would prove to have "a more than mortal power of doing mischief" and would become a monster like the one in "the splendid fiction of a recent romance" -- a terror that would turn back and attack its maker.

This month, the term's being used for China.

House Republican Dana Rohrabacher warns that China is building up its armory, in large part thanks to support from the U.S. Rohrabacher believes the guns will soon turn in our direction. "We have built up a Frankenstein that now threatens us."

Monster, maker, the two get confused, but the reference serves the purpose. Funny how politics is full of missteps that take us into horrors we never imagined.