Mel Brooks thinks Cloris Leachman is too old. Well, not in general, but too old to do eight shows a week. Even though Brooks himself is almost 81, he thinks the 81-year-old Leachman might hurt herself if she reprises the Frau Blücher (insert horse whinny here) role in the upcoming Broadway musical version of Young Frankenstein.
Leachman, of course, thinks that’s horses—. Apparently she has asked Variety columnist Army Archerd to help her convince Brooks to give her the role. According to Archerd’s website, Leachman is "heartbroken." Who can blame her? She was perfect in the movie.
I don’t care what Brooks’ reasons are — would anyone ever express such "concerns" about a male actor? Nah. (Christopher Plummer, anyone? Those hills are almost dead with the sound of music.) And anyway, Vanessa Redgrave and Angela Lansbury are both handling eight shows a week with no problem. I think Brooks just has a rotten brain. "It’s rotten, I tell ya! Rotten!"
There’s one good bit of news about the new Young Frankenstein, though: Megan Mullally will take on the role of Elizabeth, played by Madeline Kahn in the movie. We miss you, Madeline.