By Allison McCausland
With the phenomenally dramatic production of “The Crucible” this past winter, Act One lightens the theater up with laughter with the Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan written musical comedy hit, “Young Frankenstein.” Based on the classic Mel Brooks directed film, audiences are guaranteed to split their sides with this stage adaption.
After inheriting his famed grandfather’s castle in Transylvania, scientist Dr. Fredrick Frankenstein (pronounced Fronkensteen), played by senior Dane McMichael, ventures out to see the property and try to resolve it so he can put his family reputation of being a madman behind him for good. Upon arrival to the castle and meeting with Igor (pronounced Eye-gor), played by senior Jonas Bloomfield, Fredrick becomes plagued with the same obsession of reanimation and vows to carry out his grandfather’s plan to bring a creature to life. As Fredrick pursues this goal, the people of the village, led by Inspector Kemp, played by junior James “Bo” Sayre, attempt to investigate Fredrick’s agenda in their town and oust him before he follows in his family’s footsteps.
Just as his grandfather did years prior, Fredrick is able to succeed in bringing the Monster, played by junior Andrew Scoggin, to life and promptly loses him. With the town in a panic, Fredrick must quickly locate the Monster with the help of Igor, his other assistant, Inga, played by senior Ally Borgstrom, and the mysterious Frau Blucher, played by junior Alexandra Seman. Song and dance ensue as the townspeople and Fredrick’s team race against the clock to find the Monster before any damage can be done.
The musical manages to strike the same levels of hilarity and fun that last year’s “Me and My Girl” was able to capture so well. The main cast of McMichael, Bloomfield, Borgstrom, Scoggin and freshman Kailey Edwards, who played Fredrick’s fiancée, Elizabeth, give new life to their characters and perform with excellence.
Seasoned director and theater chair Dennis Razze makes the entirety of Transylvania come to life through the work of an amazing ensemble cast of characters that are Labuda’s finest. Audiences are also given a special treat with the character of the blind Hermit, played by none other than the theater program’s own professor, Wayne Turney.
Aside from a few technical mishaps behind the scenes, the production goes off seemingly without a hitch. Impressive and imaginative sets from scenic designer Will Neuert abound the stage, contrasting the usually ominous nature of horror based productions with the comedic dialogue and actor performances.
Choreographer Stephen Casey outdoes himself with the show stopping numbers the show has in abundance. Numbers of note include “Please Don’t Touch Me,” “Join the Family Business” and “Transylvania Mania.” Of course, it would be a sin not to mention the signature number from the musical production and film, “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” which was done wonderfully as well.
Shows are selling out fast, so make some time to come out and see “Young Frankenstein” before the semester ends. The production runs from April 26-May 7 in the Labuda Main Stage Theater. Tickets can be purchased at the Labuda Box Office in person during regular hours, by phone at 610-2823192, or at desales.edu/act1.