By Madylyn Tapia
On Friday, Oct. 17, Gist Hall Theater was full of eager people gathered to enjoy an HSU production of the New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein. It was presented by the Departments of Theater, Film & Dance and Music. The production was directed by Rae Robinson.
From the moment the lights dimmed the cast had the audience shrieking with laughter. Members of the audience had smiles plastered upon their faces throughout the show.
Maddie Hoon, 20-year-old biology major, thought the production was a hugely, hilarious success.
“My goodness, that was delightful,” Hoon said. “I really enjoyed the vocal quality of the performances. The comic delivery, I thought, was spot on. Overall good show!”
The show began with the townspeople of Transylvania gathered in the village square and became the “Happiest Town in Town” while holding a funeral for Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein, the creator of monsters.
The members of the village were under the impression that they were free of the antagonization of man-made monsters with the death of the doctor because his closest relative, his grandson, is teaching medicine in America.
The doctor’s grandson Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, or as he prefers it to be pronounced, Dr. Frederick “Fronkensteen” was played by Erik Standifird. Standifird is known for his work at the Ferndale Repertory Theater and the North Coast Repertory Theater.
When the young Dr. Frankenstein hears of his grandfather’s death he is forced to momentarily leave his post at the school of medicine to take care of the affairs of his grandfather’s. He must say goodbye to his beautiful and strong-willed fiance Elizabeth Benning, played by HSU sophomore Anna Duchi.
Once he arrives in Transylvania he is greeted by his new sidekick Igor, portrayed by the senior, accounting major Christopher Moreno. With Igor is the doctor’s new lab assistant Inga, played by Ashley Adams.
While Frederick is trying to convince everyone that he will only be there for a short period of time and he is different from his grandfather, Igor and Inga think it is necessary that he pick up where his grandfather left off.
Frederick and his newly formed entourage finally arrive at the Frankenstein home, where they meet the hilarious, housemaid Frau Blucher, played by the HSU alumnus Sasha Shy.
After settling into his grandfather’s library, Frederick falls asleep and is awoken by the spirits of his ancestors, specifically the spirit of Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein, played by Kyle Rispoli. He convinces young Frankenstein instills in him that he truly is a Frankenstein and he needs to carry on with the family tradition of creating living people from the dead.
From here Frederick, Inga, Igor and Frau Blucher sing, dance and joke their way through creating a monster and trying to clean up after the mess it has made. They encounter some surprise visits from all sorts of people and must convince people that their monster is not really a monster at all.
Audience members were thoroughly entertained by the production. They thought it was hilarious and well done over all. Even the addition of the music to the storyline that they were familiar with went over very well.
Political science major Alex Veazey, 19, enjoyed the show as a whole and liked the live adaptation of the familiar film.
“I thought it was really fun and I thought they did a really good job sticking to the original,” Veazey said.
Sarah Fourby, 20-year-old zoology major, was most impressed by the acting and set of the show.
“The production was brilliantly entertaining” Fourby said. “The vocal performances and acting were superb and wonderful. The stage set was absolutely amazing and life-like. The actors, the scenery and the music engaged the audience as if they were a part of the story themselves. The use of the stage and the audience during the production was clever and fun.”
The production now holds a special place in the hearts of theater lovers such as Fourby.
“I enjoy going to theatrical productions on campus and have been to a few,” Fourby said. “This production has become one of my favorites out of all the productions I have seen so far.”