Forget “Thriller,” because this Halloween everyone is dancing the “Transylvania Mania” from Young Frankenstein, a musical theatre production presented by Kingston Meistersingers.
Based on Mel Brooks’ original musical film masterpiece, Young Frankenstein is an affectionate parody of film adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
The production sings the story of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein — a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein — as he journeys from his modern New York life back to Transylvania, where he takes on the family business of making monsters.
The dry run dress rehearsal on the evening of Oct. 30 was raw and delightful.
Performed in The Octave Theatre on Dalton, the isolated and off-the-beaten-track location was perfect. The small stage changed from New York City to the Transylvanian castle of the Frankenstein family, and from the infamous Frankenstein laboratory to a forest and village.
The tone of the show was set with a beautiful and haunting violin here, classic light musical scores there, with a touch of jazz and swing everywhere.
The performance was filled with bold characters, great musical numbers and plenty of innuendo.
The energetic cast of characters included: the moustachioed young Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, hunchbacked sidekick Igor, voluptuous assistant Inga, stern housekeeper Frau Blucher, madcap fiancé Elizabeth and, of course, the beloved Frankenstein monster.
Musical highlights were “He Was My Boyfriend”, “Transylvania Mania,” and “Putting on the Ritz”.
Especially full of innuendo were “Roll in the Hay” and “Deep Love.” In context, the former was performed when the voluptuous assistant Inga was being hired by Dr. Frankenstein, and the latter was courtesy of Frankenstein the monster’s new love.
Morbid and inappropriate lyrics were sung with zest and heavy moments were contrasted with humor.
In one scene, young Dr. Frankenstein discovered the family trade in “How I Did It” by Dr. Victor Frankenstein, while the others in turn drank tea and played Go Fish and BINGO.
In short, Shelley’s tragic “Frankenstein” blended the right amount of inappropriate singing, dancing and dark humour to produce comedic and fun Young Frankenstein.
A musical is a challenge to produce but the strong and dedicated cast succeeded in their efforts. The audience, ranging in age from teenagers to adults, appeared well-entertained.
Young Frankenstein will be opening this evening followed by performances from Nov. 1 to 2 and Nov. 6 to 10.
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