Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Truth in advertising

I was a little surprised when I went to buy the original Broadway cast CD of "Young Frankenstein" today. There's a sticker on the cover that has a quote from The New York Times: "Truly exhilarating."

Funny, I didn't remember Ben Brantley being quite so enthusiastic about the new Mel Brooks musical currently playing at Broadway's Hilton Theatre. In fact, I think he came pretty close to panning it.

When I got home, I looked up the review, and here's what Brantley actually wrote: "There is one truly exhilarating number, though you have to sit through most of the show before it arrives." (The number Brantley is referring to is "Puttin' on the Ritz.")

The second quote on the sticker, "A Monster hit," isn't attributed at all. It doesn't seem to appear anywhere in Brantley's review. But if you didn't know any better, you could easily assume that it did come from the Times.

So, is this what it's come to Mel? Are you so desperate to make a buck that you've resorted to a very selective use of reviews to sell CDs? The $450 tickets for orchestra seats on Friday and Saturday nights aren't enough?

There's a lot I really loved about "Young Frankenstein," including Christopher Fitzgerald's madcap take on Igor, the "Roll in the Hay" number with Fitzgerald, Roger Bart and Sutton Foster on the way to Frankenstein's castle. And I'm hoping the CD will bring back some of my favorite moments from the show. But I have to admit my enthusiasm is waning.

Mel, I've laughed at your movies for years. Now, I just have a sour taste in my mouth. I'm guessing that you haven't seen the sticker. In any case, I'm not angry. I'm just very, very disappointed.

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