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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Gene Wilder in “Young Frankenstein” Kicks Off Playhouse Film Series

Comic legend Gene Wilder kicks off the Westport Country Playhouse’s Film Series tonight with the classic movie “Young Frankenstein” followed by a discussion led by critic Janet Maslin. wilder75.jpg

Due to ticket demand, there will be two showings of the film at 7 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., at the Community Theatre in Fairfield.

Directed by Mel Brooks and filmed in black and white to simulate the monster movie genre of the 1930s, the 1974 comedy features Wilder as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, a young neurosurgeon who is the grandson of Dr. Victor von Frankenstein. 

After years of living down the family reputation, he inherits his grandfather’s castle where he finds a hunchback called Igor (Marty Feldman), a pretty lab assistant named Inga (Teri Garr) and an old housekeeper, Frau Blucher (Cloris Leachman).

Young Frankenstein discovers his grandfather’s notes and does some experimenting of his own creating a monster (Peter Boyle).  But things
really get out of control when Young Frankenstein’s bride-to-be (Madeline
Kahn) shows up at the castle.

Gene Wilder established his relationship with Mel Brooks while appearing in a 1963 Broadway production of “Mother Courage and Her Children.” In the cast was Anne Bancroft, who was dating Brooks at the time. 

Wilder began his collaboration with Brooks as the frantic accountant Leo Bloom in “The Producers” (1967) for which he earned an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actor.

His starred as the candy impresario of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971) and reteamed with Brooks for “Blazing Saddles” (1974).

“Young Frankenstein” garnered Wilder a second Oscar nomination for his screenwriting efforts with Brooks. 

The Film Series continues with Jane Powell, joined by Turner Classic Movies
host Robert Osborne following “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” on July 6;
Joanne Woodward and Stewart Stern, author of “Rachel, “Rachel,” discussing the film on July 20 and 22; and Keir Dullea interviewed by Brooks Community Newspapers film critic Susan Granger after “2001: A Space Odyssey” on Aug. 3.

All films will be at the Community Theatre in Fairfield, with the exception of July 22 at The Ridgefield Playhouse.

For ticket information, call (203) 227-4177, purchase online at www.westportplayhouse.org, or visit the box office at The Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Avenue, Ridgefield, open Monday through Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.

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Posted 06/29/04 at 03:23 AM  Permalink



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