by Lorie Lewis Ham
If you are looking for some crazy fun to escape the craziness of holiday shopping, head over to Roger Rocka’s in Fresno and see The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein, on stage through January 12, 2014.
This musical is based on the Mel Brooks movie Young Frankenstein–which I have to admit I don’t like-I just don’t care for silly movies. However, as a musical it’s fun. The story opens with the people of Transylvania celebrating the death of Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein because they don’t have to fear the Frankenstein monsters anymore because there are no more Frankenstein’s left.
However, they are quickly informed that Victor has a grandson living in the U.S. who is a professor. Of course he’d never come to Transylvania right? Wrong. Young Frederick Frankenstein soon learns of the death and goes to Transylvania to deal with his grandfather’s estate. Immediately faced with certain expectations when he arrives, Frederick is determined that he is not like the rest of his family–even to the point of it being a running joke that he pronounces Frankenstein differently. Frederick’s plans quickly go awry and he finds himself creating a monster. Throw in a love triangle and you have the basic plot. I won’t spoil the surprise, but there is a fun twist in the second act!
Daniel Hernandez does a great job as Frederick Frankenstein. Daniel Sutherland is a riot as the monster. Tyler Branco, last seen as Shrek, is not only funny as Igor but we get to hear that lovely voice I enjoyed so much in Shrek. Sarah Lane plays Inga, the Doctor’s lovely assistant, and Paige Parker plays his fiancée Elizabeth Benning. Jennifer Goettsch is hilarious as the housekeeper Frau Blucher. Other familiar faces are Gordon Moore, Dan Pessano, Greg Ruud and Henry Montelongo. The show also has a talented ensemble that includes Daniel’s on stage dance partner from Drowsy Chaperone and Singin’ In The Rain, Dominic Grijalva.
While the whole show is fun, I definitely enjoyed the second act the most, especially the awesome song and dance number “Puttin’ On The Ritz.” Good Company Players really knows how to do a great old fashioned song and dance number! How Daniel Sutherland could dance like that in those lifts is beyond me! And I’ve loved Daniel Hernandez’ dancing ever since Drowsy Chaperone. Everyone was wonderful in that number!
If you are looking for a serious drama to move you, or powerful belting singing–this musical is not for you. But if you are looking for a night of just plain silliness and fun–don’t miss Young Frankenstein! You can purchase tickets online, or by calling their box office at (559) 266-9494 or (800) 371-4747. Also, check out their KRL theatre event page.
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