At age 87, Mel Brooks is adding another first to his already iconic career: a one-man show.
Brooks is set to appear in a solo autobiographical play at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse for one night only on April 28. In typical Brooks fashion, he’s serving as director, producer, writer, and actor for the “introspective retrospective” into his life and career.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, show producer Kevin Salter said, “What Mel wanted to do was to have a platform to tell some of these great stories that he has in an intimate fashion.” Brooks reportedly approached the Geffen earlier this year with his plans, and the production quickly became a reality.
Brooks will fill the 500-seat Gil Cates Theater as part of the Playhouse’s Spotlight Entertainment series, which has also included Bette Midler’s one-woman show I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers and the Neil Patrick Harris-directed magic show Nothing to Hide.
Tickets for the engagement already appear to be sold out on the Geffen’s website, which includes the disclaimer that patrons must consent to be filmed by Brooks’ production company Brooksfilms Limited. It’s unclear whether the performance will be preserved on film for internal use or a commercial release at a later date; it’s surely not a far stretch to imagine that, if it’s a success, the play could have a second life elsewhere.
Brooks’ time in the theater is closely associated with his walloping hit The Producers, which currently holds the record for the most Tony Awards ever awarded to a Broadway musical. He followed that show up with Young Frankenstein (a decidedly less beloved though still successful venture) and has long been rumored to be eyeing Blazing Saddles as his next musical bout on the stage.