They were having trouble casting Mel Brooks’ latest money machine (or so they hope – The Producers isn’t doing the kind of business that it once was), and they ended up casting Bryan D’Arcy James (who’s a good actor, but *yawn*. Obviously Greg Kinnear, Jimmy Fallon and Brooks’ mailman all said no). As for the rest of the casting, Kristen Chenoweth, you’re ok, but I’ve seen Madeline Kahn, and you, madame, are no Madeline Kahn. Shuler Hensley as The Monster is great casting, although it won’t sell a lot of tickets.
What will sell tickets is Mr. Brooks’ name. Thing is, Mel Brooks writes music by, well, humming. That’s right folks, he just does a “dum dum de dum dum de dum dum” and then someone else makes that into notes that the orchestra can play. We love Mel (at least the early stuff, although ‘Spaceballs’ had its moments), but come on. Do we really expect him to be able to pen a second Broadway score when he can’t even read a note of music? Of course, Andrew Lloyd Webber is a musician, and it didn’t help him a lick when it came to those songs (OH NO HE DIDN’T!). Basically, there’s no accounting for taste in this business.
With both of these, we’d much rather see the movie. The ones with Gene Wilder in them. And Madeline Kahn.