Thursday, October 17, 2013

This North Coast Weekend

HSU opens Young Frankenstein: The Musical  tonight (Thursday) for two weekends. As he did with the stage version of The Producers, Mel Brooks wrote the script, music and lyrics, slightly parodying past Broadway songs. This 2007 musical comedy version doesn’t require familiarity with the classic 1974 Young Frankenstein movie, but key comic moments recur, with some variation and embellishment. Director Rae Robison and designer Derek Lane are applying an industrial “steam punk” (or Frankensteam) approach to the set and the Monster. But the Monster’s specific look (and the identity of the well-known local actor who plays him) are secrets for audiences to discover.

 Erik Standifird plays Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, grandson of the original monster-maker. He played the lead in last year’s NCRT production of Anything Goes, the Cole Porter show that inspired Mel Brooks’ musical approach to this one. A large ensemble features Anna Duchi, Ashley Adams, Christopher Moreno, Sasha Shay and Keith Brown. Elisabeth Harrington is music director, Paul Cummings conducts the band, and Lizzie Chapman is dance choreographer. Marissa Menezes designed costumes, Telfer Reynolds the lighting, Charles Thompson the sound.  This is the HSU Theatre, Film & Dance department and HSU Music department co-production that typically happens every other year.

 This comedy about a man, his monster and the women who loved them contains verbal and visible PG humor of a sexual nature—no surprise, it’s Mel Brooks. Because it’s in the relatively small Gist Hall Theatre, two Saturday matinees are added to the usual schedule of Thurs.-Sat. at 7:30 and Sunday at 2. Young Frankenstein opens Oct. 17 and plays weekends through Oct. 27.  There's more information at HSU Stage & Screen, where you can be the first to read the strange story of how Frankenstein and Dracula were born on the same dark and stormy night!

Meanwhile, Our Town continues at Ferndale Rep.

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