REVIEW: Young Frankenstein - 3D Theatricals
...IT’S ALIVE!!! The electrifying adaptation of Mel Brooks' monstrously funny film will leave you in stitches.
3-D Theatricals brings the classic monster musical comedy “Young Frankenstein” to life on stage in an all-singing, all-dancing musical parody of Mary Shelley’s classic novel, depicting a creature that cannot be controlled. Young Frankenstein tells the tale of Frederick Frankenstein, a notable New York neuroscientist who is forced to travel to Transylvania in order to claim an inheritance from his genius, but deranged and recently departed grandfather, Victor Von Frankenstein.
Upon his arrival, Frankenstein (played by Dino Nicandros) is greeted by a myriad of eccentric characters, including a hunchbacked henchman named Igor (Erik Scott Romney), and the voluptuous, yodeling lab assistant, Inga (Julia Aks), who has a degree in Laboratory Science from the local community college, and Frau Blücher (Tracy Rowe Mutz), his grandfather’s ex-housekeeper/girlfriend. Frederick soon realizes he must decide whether to escape from his grandfather’s madness or to continue his dark work.
However dismissive at first, Frederick eventually comes around after reviewing his grandfather's notes, and decides to carry on the experiments in the reanimation of the dead. With his eyes set on conquering death, Frankenstein succeeds in creating life. "It's alive!" he exclaims as he brings to life a creature to rival his grandfather's, albeit less hair. However, his victory soon turns to chaos as a series of hilarious mistakes throws the village into hysteria.
This musical adaptation, by Director David Lamoureux , will be presented through October 15th, 2017 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, and then for an additional 10 days beginning October 20th at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos. According to Executive Producer and Artistic Director T.J. Dawson, the Cerritos Center will be the new permanent home for 3-D Theatricals.
Ashley Fox Linton has an unenviable job competing with the sublime Madeline Kahn’s memory as Frederick Frankenstein’s well-heeled fiancee Elizabeth. But she plays the lockjaw society floozy with an amusing mix of self-love and slutty depravity.
Danny Blalock gets to show off some fine silent-comedy skills as the fearsome Monster who just wants to be loved, but for some reason I couldn’t get Everybody Loves Raymond’s dad out of my mind. One of the highlights of the show was the creature’s dance tap rendition of Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ On the Ritz.” Daniel Smith pulls out all the stops for this one as he recreates the original Broadway choreography. But what really makes it fly is the monster’s sheer obvious pleasure in what he’s doing - this big galoot of a mannequin who is being seduced by the singular joys of musical theatre and loving it!
Richard Gould does droll double duty as wooden-armed Inspector Kemp and, in one of the more successfully translated film vignettes, also the Blind Hermit. If you remember, Gene Hackman landed that role in the film because Wilder was a frequent tennis partner, which sparked one of the most memorable sequences in comedic history.
Every bit as relevant to audience members who will remember the original, The Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein has all of the panache of the screen sensation with quite a bit of extra theatrical flair added, along with the use of lighting effects, smoke, fire, video tech, sound effects and theatre magic. Many times during the performance, I brought up flashes of other shows similar. Igor – a striking resemblance to Patsy in Spamalot. The dance number in The Addams Family with the ghostly relatives - very similar to "Join The Family Business" here, no? Or am I reaching? But, all in all, with such memorable tunes as ‘The Transylvania Mania,’ ‘Roll in the Hay,’ and ‘He Vas My Boyfriend,’ Young Frankenstein is scientifically proven, monstrously good entertainment.
Young Frankenstein is brought to life by 3-D Theatricals resident creative faculty team: Sets and costumes provided by NETworks; lighting by Jean-Yves Tessier; sound by Julie Ferron. Makeup design by Denice Paxton.
The show contains mild language and moderate sexual innuendo and is best suited for ages 14 and older. Tickets may be purchased by visiting the website at http://www.3dtheatricals.org/productions/young-frankenstein.
Chris Daniels Arts Reviewer