The phenomenal success of The Producers, Mel Brooks’ first foray onto the Great White Way, was followed late last year by (the less rapturously received) Young Frankenstein. With so many of Brooks’ films graced by hilarious — and catchy — musical numbers, it’s tough to choose the one that would best make the transition to Broadway.
Brooks has always been a musical theater fan. A few days before “The Producers” opened, he reminisced in the New York Times about his lifelong devotion to Broadway musicals, and discussed how he was encouraged to write his own songs for that first smash hit. There’s no reason why his third outing couldn’t have the impact of his first. He told the New York Post that he’s “mulling a final bow (or two) on Broadway” and rumors point to Blazing Saddles. But could History of the World: Part 1 work as well?
History of the World: Part 1 has only two memorable melodies: The kicky Torqemada tune and the opening number for the as-yet-unproduced Jews in Space, but the film’s many colorful set pieces and lavish production design would translate effortlessly (if expensively) to Broadway. The brevity of certain sequences might be challenging to stage, but
the opportunity to link the five segments to recent or current shows —
something evocative of “Les Miserables” for the French Revolution
segment, for instance — is almost irresistible.
What do you think? Is History of the World: Part 1 your top choice for Brooks’ next theatrical adaptation? (For a full schedule of the movie on AMC, click here.) Or do you have a better idea? To review Mel Brooks’ output, check out our slideshow of his Greatest Gags.