It’s A Scream: Young Frankenstein Takes The Stage At Gist Hall

WITNESSES TO HORROR  Erik Standifird, Ashley Adams and Keith Brown. Submitted photo

WITNESSES TO HORROR Erik Standifird, Ashley Adams and Keith Brown. Submitted photo


Evening Shows: Thursdays through Sundays Oct. 17 to 19 and 24 to 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Matinees: Saturdays and Sundays Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $15/$10 students and seniors, HSU Ticket Office (707) 826-3928

HSU – The Humboldt State production of the Mel Brooks’ musical Young Frankenstein is onstage for two weekends in Gist Hall Theatre beginning Thursday, Oct. 17.

The film comedy Young Frankenstein was a big hit in 1974 and endures as a cult classic. As he did for his Broadway hit The Producers, Mel Brooks wrote the music as well as lyrics and story for this scary, sexy and very silly musical comedy version.

“If you like the movie,” said Rae Robison, stage director of the HSU show, “you will like the musical more. The spirit and even much of the dialogue remain the same, but there are different takes on some of the scenes and characters are expanded. But mostly there’s singing and dancing galore—including tap-dancing monsters and monster girls.”

Even those who have never seen the film (which includes, Robison says, members of the cast) can enjoy the music, mayhem and patented Mel Brooks humor. “It’s just so funny,” Robison said. “Every night at rehearsals I am laughing until my face hurts.”

Eric Standifird (who starred in Anything Goes at NCRT last year) leads a large ensemble cast as the monster-maker's American grandson Frederick Frankenstein (“that's Fronk-un-steen!”). Anna Duchi is his teasing intended, Elizabeth; Ashley Adams is his lovely lab assistant, Sasha Shay is the mysterious Frau Blucher, Christopher Moreno is Igor and Keith Brown is the mechanically enhanced Inspector Kemp. Elisabeth Harrington is music director and Paul Cummings leads the  live band. Lizzie Chapman is dance choreographer.

Robison notes the original approach of designers Derek Lane (scene), Marissa Menezes (costumes), Telfer Reynolds (lighting) and Charles Thompson (sound.) “We have definitely created, both scenically and in our production, a unique approach to this show you will not see anywhere else,” Robison said.

A well-known local actor plays the Monster, but his identity and what the Monster looks like are being kept secret as a surprise for audiences.

The Young Frankenstein film was rated PG. There are even more sexual humor and hijinks in the musical as part of the pre-Halloween fun. The show is up close and personal in Gist Hall Theatre so two Saturday matinees are added because of its limited seating.

An HSU Theatre, Film & Dance and HSU Music department co-production.


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