‘Young Frankenstein’ Comes Alive at The Stage
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 16:10
Timing could not be any riper for Music Theatre Fargo-Moorhead’s ninth season premiere “Young Frankenstein.” A musical form of the classic 1974 film starring Gene Wilder, this production arrives at The Stage at Island Park just as Halloween creeps closer on the calendar.
“Young Frankenstein” featured Wilder along with Marty Feldman, Teri Garr and Peter Boyle in a film of monstrously comedic proportions. Parodying the Boris Karloff Frankenstein films of the 1930s and ‘40s, “Young Frankenstein” finds neurosurgeon Frederick Frankenstein (Wilder) reluctantly returning to his grandfather’s Transylvanian home.
With his assistants (Feldman and Garr) he brings a corpse (Boyle) back to life, which escapes his lab, destruction and hilarity ensuing in his wake. This musical adaptation came to life in 2007, with Mel Brooks, the movie’s creator, behind the songs and music.
“The big dance numbers, and the songs and everything, and the things that they added work so well with the movie being funny anyway,” MTFM company member Kathy Hanson said, who portrays lab assistant Inga.
Dozens of songs come to life onstage, each inspired by a scene (i.e. Frederick’s nightmare) or a line (“Vould you like to have a roll in ze hay?”). Division of the script is tipped slightly more in the songs’ favor with this show because hey, after all it is a musical.
“There’s a song called ‘Roll in the Hay,’ which is a great tune,” stage manager Laurie Seifert-Williams said. “Igor and Frederick have a song-and-dance number together, which is fantastic and actually [sounds like] Gene Kelly-down-at-the-corner kind of music.
“Frau Blücher will have a song that is absolutely hysterical. Of course, the big number that everyone will know from the movie is ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz,’ which is a big production number that’s a lot of fun.”
Twenty cast members present the music of the production, with a seven-piece orchestra on hand for accompaniment. If live music and dancing is not enough for attendees, two costume contests will be held after performances on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, all in the Halloween spirit.
Fans of the film and even those unfamiliar with it are all invited to see for themselves this classic comedy come to life onstage. Entertainment is what a night at the theater is all about, and a good time will be easy to glean from this production.
“[I]t’s so funny that it stands on its own if you’re not familiar with,” Seifert-Williams said. “It will still be funny.”
“Young Frankenstein” runs 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 to 26 and 31 to Nov. 2, and 2 p.m. Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 at The Stage at Island Park at 333 4th St. S. Advanced tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $10 for students, and $7 for students on Thursday nights. Tickets are available at the box office and by phone at 701-235-6778.