No taming this monster
The songs are fun, there’s lots of comedy and the monster is green.
The Aberdeen Community Theatre is presenting “The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein” this week.
Ensemble member Christopher Rinkenberger calls the musical crazy, quirky and raunchy.
The musical is based on the 1970s film written by Brooks and Gene Wilder. It’s a parody of 1930s horror films.
In the musical, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein is the grandson of the illustrious mad scientist of the same surname. He has distanced himself from the family business of creating monsters in the laboratory.
He must return to his grandfather’s Transylvanian castle to resolve issues with the estate following the death of Victor Von Frankenstein.
“It’s a B-class horror movie mixed with Mel Brooks and made into a comedy,” said ensemble member Lindsey Dosch.
Throughout the musical, ensemble members have to be versatile. They have to be crazy members of the Frankenstein family, villagers, nurses and medical students.
“Young Frankenstein” debuted on Broadway in 2007.
“We keep challenging ourselves to do more modern and current shows,” said ensemble member Chris Anderson. “It’s an exciting challenge.”
He said doing shows like “Young Frankenstein” drive the level of set design and acting up.
Giant, elaborate set pieces have been made to transport audiences from New York City to Transylvania Heights.
“They have to be moved in and out, and it’s crazy, but it’s worth it,” said ensemble member Austin Vetter.
For Yvonne Freese, it was serendipitous that she play the role of Inga, Frankenstein’s lab assistant. Her middle name is Ingrid, and friends call her Inga.
“My friends were like, ‘you have to get this part,’ ” she said. “It’s meant to be.”
She had to learn to yodel for her number, “A Roll in the Hay.” She said it’s sometimes difficult to be in such a funny show.
“I’m a gigglebot, and I lose it sometimes,” Freese said.
There are challenging character roles.
Eli Corbett, who plays Igor, a hunchbacked henchman, had to work on a Cockney accent.
Kellyanne Kirkland had to nail down an accent for her part as Frau Blucher, a stoic lady who was a companion of the late Victor Von Frankenstein.
“Some of the slapstick comedy is just so in-your-face,” she said. “If you don’t get it, you’ve got to be under the age of 12.”
In preparation for the performances, she watched the original Mel Brooks film.
She and Courtney Rott Jr., who plays Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, have an appreciation for another Mel Brooks classic, “Blazing Saddles.”
Rott saw “Blazing Saddles” when he was 9 and was hooked on Mel Brooks. He was in ACT’s production of Brooks’ “The Producers” a few years ago.
“I’ve loved this movie since I was a kid,” he said of “Young Frankenstein.” “It’s as funny today as when the movie premiered.”
As for the monster or Frankenstein’s concoction, Trent Deyo has to sit in the makeup chair for no less than an hour and a half.
There’s just one warning cast members have to give audiences.
“It’s just offbeat, irreverent humor,” said ensemble member Robi Kolden. “Hold on to your hats because it’s not going to be tame.”