Written by Treva Flores
“Young Frankenstein” resurrected from the stage at the Landis Performing Arts Center on Nov. 7.
The musical is an adaptation of the 1974 film “Young Frankenstein” with music and lyrics written by Mel Brooks as well as the book written by Brooks and Thomas Meehan.
It was an interesting adaptation from the movie. The musical was entertaining and made the audience laugh with slapstick comedy and mature humor.
“Young Frankenstein” is a comedic approach in telling the classic Mary Shelley novel about a Doctor who resurrects a dead body, creating a monster.
The musical begins with the celebration of Doctor Victor von Frankenstein’s (Johnny Fletcher) death. Victor’s grandson, Doctor Frederick Frankenstein (Larry Raben), is then alerted that he has to leave his fiancé Elizabeth Benning (Chelsea Emma Franko) behind and travel to Transylvania to resolve issues regarding his grandfather’s property.
Upon arrival Frederick meets his new hump-backed assistant Igor (Emerson Boatwright), his beautiful new assistant Inga (Anne Montavon) and the creepy housekeeper Frau Blucher (Tracy Lore).
As Frederick explores his grandfather’s castle he discovers a hidden lab and a book that explains how to revive the dead. He decides to carry on the “family business” by creating his own monster, which doesn’t turn out the way he expected.
Without spoiling the end with too many details, the rest of the play comprises of the town villagers trying to kill the monster, Frederick’s fiancé catching him in mischief and true love being found by each of the characters at the end of the play.
The musical was a funny interpretation with some added changes in the beginning to establish more background, but it wasn’t the same as the movie.
The movie was hilarious with Gene Wilder portraying Frederick in the original film and Raben was an excellent replacement when it came to looking the part and being a great performer on Landis stage.
The one song that lived up to expectations was “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” which was featured in both the movie and the musical. It was funny and interactive as the audience clapped along to the actors performing on stage.
The most hilarious song was “Please don’t touch me” as Elizabeth sang goodbye to her fiancé while being carted around on a luggage carrier. She didn’t move from that spot as different cast members pushed her around for the duration musical, including the “Finale Ultimo” when the company took its final bow.
Overall the musical was cheesy and mindless entertainment as the performers danced around stage, making it the best show possible with a mediocre script.
The orchestra portrayed the mood of the musical well with upbeat tunes to accompany the comedic moments and provide eerie sounds for the “horror” aspects of the show.
Set design transformed the stage well, although the background screen was a bit outdated it did its job of setting each scene. There was a really cool double effect as a transparent screen was used to create rain as well as lightning that illuminated the stage.
The story of “Young Frankenstein” is a classic and although the musical didn’t live up to expectations it was still worth watching because of the performers and their amazing vocal talents.
Performances will continue with 2 p.m. showings on Nov. 14 and 15 along with evening shows on Nov. 13 and 14.