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NEWSWEEK: Mel Brooks on 'The Producers,' His First Smash Hit: 'I Didn't Expect it. I was Just Adapting My Little Cult Movie - I Didn't Know how Much Resonance it Had'

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2007-11-05 00:28:06     
Newsweek

Comedian Mel Brooks tells Newsweek that he wasn't worried about following up his Broadway hit "The Producers" with his newest musical, "Young Frankenstein," which opens on Broadway this week. "No, I was just so happy and grateful to the fates, the gods. Even if I never have another one, it will always bring in $100 a week," he says.

"The first real smash hit I had on Broadway was 'The Producers,' and I didn't expect it," he tells Newsweek's Senior Editor Cathleen McGuigan and Correspondent Nicki Gostin in the November 12 issue (on newsstands Monday, November 5). "I was just adapting my little cult movie-I didn't know how much resonance it had."

Brooks says this really is his fifth time on Broadway; he started in 1952 with Leonard Sillman's "New Faces," starring Paul Lynde, Carol Lawrence and Eartha Kitt. "I wrote one of the sketches. It was a great show-and a hit. Then I worked on another show with Eartha Kitt that wasn't successful, and I did a show called 'Nowhere to Go But Up' that was good but didn't run very long, either."

There's been controversy over "Young Frankenstein's" $450 ticket price. Brooks says, "There are only 35 or 40 $450 tickets at the most, and there's 1,830 tickets sold at the normal price. The $450 ticket, according to my producer, was to head off the scalpers. It all goes back to the investors. Like I said in 'The Producers,' never put your own money into the show because you never know."

On why he loves doing Broadway shows, Brooks says, "The great, great, great thing about Broadway is that you get what you got into show business for-the immediate payoff. Make a movie, you gotta wait 18 months for your first laugh ... This is the only place your heart takes wing. This is why I got into this, for this love and appreciation. There's nothing like a live show. You can't get goose bumps watching a movie, but you can always get goose bumps at musical theater."

(Read complete interview at http://www.Newsweek.com)

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