DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – Like Peter Pan, Mel Brooks never quite grew up. Stuff like his musical “Young Frankenstein” brims with his forever-young playfulness – plays on words, suggestiveness/sexiness, oddball characters, serious characters swept into ridiculousness, zest for fun and a general “why not?” take on creativity.
If you have a chance, try to catch one of the four remaining performances through Sunday, Feb. 2, in the college’s Webb Theatre. Info: tickets.snc.edu.
In “The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein” (official title), Mel Brooks re-invents his goofy movie of the same name, which re-invents the cult classic Frankenstein movies of the ’30s. The latest Dr. Frankenstein (Fronken-STEEN, he insists) is the brilliant grandson of the creature maker, who has just, to put it in Mel Brooks terminology, passed on and even died. Fronken-STEEN heads over to Transylvania and meets up with the indelible characters, hunchbacked (or not) Eye-gore; comely Inga, his soon-to-be assistant, etc.; Goth housekeeper Frau Blucher (neighhhhh); seething townsfolk led by a guy who paid and arm and a leg (really) for life-saving surgery; and, of course, The Monster (who speaks the immortal line, “Puddenonarizzz”). Left behind is Fronken-STEEN’s fiancé,
Creators: Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, music and lyrics by Mel Brooks; original choreography by Susan Stroman.
Knight Theatre: President/producers, Marcia LaSalle, Stephanie Villanova; director, Madison Galloway; vocal director, Matthew Christoff; pit orchestra director, Brian Anderson; choreographer (tap dancing too!), Meredith Pointer; set design, Andrea Fietzer.
Frederick Frankenstein, Logan Thomas
Inga, Zephyr Ciesar
Frau Blücher, Erika Jahnke
Inspector Kemp, Everette Berchmans
Elizabeth Benning, Sadie Smith
The Monster, Sean Topacio
Victor von Frankenstein, Ryan Penkal
Ziggy, Larry March
The Hermit, Tanner Lundquist
Mr. Hilltop, Brian Falk
Telegraph Boy, Meredith Pointer
Steward, Morgan Anshutz
Shoeshine Boy, Samantha Kolb
Count Dracula, Benny Behnke
Barbershop singers (right on), Ryan Penkal, Larry March, Brian Falk, Tanner Lundquist, Everette Berchmans
Entourage, Samantha Kolb, Kelly Anderson, Kasara Sinkula, Meaghan Dressel, Morgan Anshutz
Mad Scientists, Natalee Cunningham, Lauren Gantebein, Kelsey Upchurch
“The Happiest Town in Town” – Kemp and Villagers
“The Brain” – Frederick and Students
“Please Don’t Touch Me” – Elizabeth and Voyagers
“Together Again (for the First Time)” – Frederick and Igor
“Roll in the Hay” – Inga, Frederick, and Igor
“Join the Family Business” – Victor, Frederick and Ancestors
“He Vas My Boyfriend” – Frau Blücher
“The Law” – Kemp and Villagers
“Life, Life” – Frederick, Igor, Inga and Blücher
“Welcome to Transylvania” –
“He’s Loose” – Kemp and Villagers
“Listen to Your Heart” – Inga
“Surprise” – Elizabeth, Igor, Blücher, and Entourage
“Please Send Me Someone” – The Hermit
“Man About Town” – Frederick
“Puttin’ on the Ritz” (music and lyrics by Irving Berlin) –
“Deep Love” –
“Deep Love” (Reprise) – The Monster
“Finale Ultimo” – The Company
The cast is sprinkled with members of the college’s show troupe, Knights on Broadway, and campus choral groups, so some of the overall performing flair may come through osmosis.
Logan Thomas carries a load (skillfully) as the driven Frederick Frankenstein. Zephyr Ciesar, Sadie Smith and Erika Jahnke are a blast with their different takes on sensuality. Noah Reif leaps in to the zany role of Igor (Eye-gore). Sean Tapacio is a BIG hit as The Monster.
Energy continues through the ensemble, which adds flashes of downright humor, acrobatics and dance routines.
This is the 20th anniversary of Knight Theatre, and the 2014 show is a humdinger among a bunch of strong productions.
THE VENUE: The 184-seat Neil and Mary Webb Memorial Theatre is the smaller of two theaters in
THE PEOPLE: Neil and Mary Webb were husband and wife. Neil Webb was president of
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