Leavel, Ragusa and Sullivan Join 'Frankenstein' This Summer
Beth Leavel, Michele Ragusa and Kelly Sullivan become the new leading ladies of Mel Brooks' award-winning Young Frankenstein this summer at the Hilton Theatre (213 W 42nd St), joining original cast members Roger Bart,Shuler Hensley, Fred Applegate and Christopher Fitzgerald. Kelly Sullivan will assume the role of Inga on Tuesday, July 8th; Tony winner Beth Leavel (Drowsy Chaperone) will become Frau Blucher on Tuesday, July 22nd and Michele Ragusa (Adrift in Macao) takes over the role of Elizabeth on Tuesday, August 5th. For tickets and information, visit Ticketmaster.com or call (212) 307-4100.
Young Frankenstein's original acclaimed trio of divas is in their final weeks of performances. Sutton Foster's last performance is Sunday, July 6th; Andrea Martin - Tony-nominated for her performance - completes her run Sunday, July 20th and Megan Mullally will depart after the Sunday, August 3rd performance.
Young Frankenstein was named Best Broadway Musical 2008 by the Outer Critics Circle Award and won 5 Broadway.com Audience Awards, including Favorite New Broadway Musical.
Clive Barnes of the New York Post called Young Frankenstein, "the Broadway musical at its dizziest, glitziest and funniest" while Pat Collins of MY 9 News declared Young Frankenstein "a monster hit." Jeffrey Lyons of WNBC TV said "this riotously funny musical will knock you clear across 42nd Street" and Roger Friedman of Fox News called it simply, "utter genius."
Beth Leavel (Frau Blucher) most recently received the 2006 Tony Award, Drama Desk, N.Y. Outer Critics Circle Award and the L.A. Drama Critics Award for her performance as The Drowsy Chaperone in The Drowsy Chaperone. Other Broadway credits include Dorothy Brock in the revival of 42nd Street; Tess in the original company of Crazy For You (with Susan Stroman); Mrs. Bixby in The Civil War; Ellie in Hal Prince's Showboat, and Anytime Annie (her Broadway debut) in 42nd Street. Ms. Leavel was also seen in City Center's production of No No Nanette. Numerous Off-Broadway, commercial and T.V. appearances! MFA from UNC-G and proud member of Actor's Equity.
Michele Ragusa (Elizabeth) recently played Lilli/Kate in Kiss Me, Kate at Paper Mill Playhouse. Prior to that she received both Lortel and Drama League Award nominations for her performance as Corinna in Christopher Durang's Adrift In Macao at Primary Stages. Broadway: Urinetown (Penny/Hope cover), Ragtime (Evelyn), A Class Act (Mona), Titanic (Caroline), Cyrano (The Novice). Other NYC: The Audience (Transport Group.), Like You Like It (NYMF), Tintypes (Melting Pot), Bloomer Girl (City Center). National Tours: Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel (Hodel); West Side Story, Vienna/United Nations (Maria); Nunsense II (Sr. Leo). Regional Credits: Corinna in Adrift In Macao (Philadelphia Theatre Co., Barrymore Award); Bad Dates (Studio Arena); Amalia in She Loves Me (Paper Mill Playhouse); Adelaide in Guys and Dolls (Dallas Theatre Center, Rabin Award); Belinda in Noises Off (Studio Arena); Side Sondheim (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Tom Jones (World Premiere, North Shore/NYMF); Nunsense (Sacramento Music Circus); Eliza in My Fair Lady (Westbury/Valley Forge); Lend Me A Tenor (Portland Stage); Jacquie in Me and My Girl (Goodspeed); Nellie in South Pacific (Dallas Theatre Center); L'il Abner (Goodspeed); Christine in Phantom (Jupiter Theatre/Artpark); Julie in Carousel (Conn. Rep. Theatre); Magnolia in Showboat (Artpark). Film/ Television: Heart of Spider (NYU/IFC), "Law and Order SVU," "Guiding Light," "One Life to Life," "All My Children."
Kelly Sullivan (Inga). Broadway: Contact, Bells Are Ringing. Off-Broadway: Burleigh Grimes. Regional: Steel Magnolias, Chicago, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Carter's Way, Anything Goes, Julius Caesar, The Importance of Being Earnest, Private Lives, In the Beginning, Married Alive. Television: "Law & Order: C.I.," "As the World Turns," "One Life to Live." Film: The Producers, upcoming releases: The Ice Grill, Winter of Frozen Dreams, My Father's Will, Love on Line, Greta.
Based on the Oscar-nominated smash hit 1974 film, Young Frankenstein is the wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Mary Shelley classic from the comic genius of Mel Brooks. When Frederick Frankenstein, an esteemed New York brain surgeon and professor, inherits a castle and laboratory in Transylvania from his grandfather, deranged genius Victor Von Frankenstein, he faces a dilemma. Does he continue to run from his family's tortured past or does he stay in Transylvania to carry on his grandfather's mad experiments reanimating the dead and, in the process, fall in love with his sexy lab assistant Inga?
Unfolding in the forbidding Castle Frankenstein and the foggy moors of Transylvania Heights, the show's raucous score includes "The Transylvania Mania," "He Vas My Boyfriend" and the unforgettable treatment of Irving Berlin's "Puttin' On the Ritz."
For information, visit YoungFrankensteinTheMusical.com.
Photo of Kelly Sullivan by Genevieve Rafter Keddy