Resurrecting a Mel Brooks’ Favorite: Mary Martello talks YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

Mary MartelloMary Martello is scaring up some fun-and foals in Walnut Street Theatre’s Young Frankenstein. No stranger to the WST stage, Martello has appeared in over 30 productions. This time around, she is starring as Frau Blucher in the hilarious hit based on the Mel Brook’s movie. Blucher is a mysterious character whose name has a strange effect in horses.

The show contains two new musical numbers and a revised script by Brooks. [Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street] September 3–October 20, 2019walnutstreettheatre.org

Mary Martello (1)Debra Danese: You started performing at the age of 7. What was your first show?  

Mary Martello: My first professional appearance was for the Oldsmobile Christmas Spectacular in 1960. I sang a duet with Florence Henderson called “Be Kind to Your Parents.”  The show was emceed by Johnny Carson, who was soon to take over The Tonight Show.

DD: Is that when you knew you had the theatre bug? 

MM: My first play was The Innocents a year later. I planned to become an English teacher when I grew up, according to the bio I wrote for the program. When I learned you couldn’t get a degree in diagramming sentences, I gave up that idea and kept performing.

DD: How would you best describe your character, Frau Blucher? 

MM: A passionate woman with a complicated past with men and horses.

DD: You have been in over 30 Walnut Street Theatre productions. What have been some of your favorite roles there?  

MM: There are many, but some of my favorites include: Hesione in The Triumph of Love; Sheila Kelly, who is one of the villains in Annie Warbucks; Muriel in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Golda in Fiddler on the Roof; Vida Louise in Harvey; Roz in Nine to Five; Mama Calhoun in Memphis; Mother Superior in Sister Act; Dottie in Noises Off; Miss Hannigan in Annie and very possibly, Frau Blucher. 

DD: What’s your favorite line from the show?

MM: I can’t pick one!

DD: Three words you’d use to best describe Frau Blucher.  

MM: Single-minded, passionate and twisted.

DD: Where do you go in Philly to unwind after a show? 

MM: I usually go home to unwind, but I’ve been known to join the cast for drinks at La Buca, Craftsman Row, or karaoke at Day N Nite.

 

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About the author

Debra Danese

Debra graduated with a degree in dance from the University of the Arts and also holds a B.A. in Arts Administration. She is accredited at the Master Level with the National Registry of Dance Educators. Debra has performed in Europe, Tokyo, Canada, and the Caribbean. She teaches and choreographs world-wide and has been an international guest artist in Switzerland, England, and Slovakia. Debra has been an Artist in Residence on five occasions in Norway where she showcased full length dance productions at the acclaimed Nordland Theatre. She has also presented an original dance production at the Elspe Festival in Germany. Debra has been featured in Dance, Dancer and Dance Teacher Magazines for her work in dance education. Additionally, she has been a contributing writer for Dance Studio Life Magazine since 2010.