By Katelyn Roudebush
Last Thursday, Oct. 17, the HSU departments of theatre, film & dance, and music held the opening night performance of The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein. The play was held in Gist Hall Theater and continued to have performances until Oct. 27.
Simply walking into the Hall before even reaching the theater audience members could feel the ambiance of the play with fake cobwebs and ancient candlesticks surrounding the ticket booth. Props like a golden horse and fake tombstones lined the path into the theater. The stage itself was impressive personifying the feel of the much beloved movie before the play even begun. Property design was by Jared Sorenson with help from prop master Cathy “Emma” Lubin, the prop crew and prop design assistants from TA 137 class.
Jaime Farrar, 18, freshman environmental studies major at Humboldt State, attended the play during the Sunday matinee performance. Farrar said that Young Frankenstein was one of the funniest movies she had ever seen, inspiring her to attend the musical.
“I thought the props and staging was really creative and well done,” Farrar said. “It really added to the comedy during certain scenes.”
As the play finally begun audience members quickly shushed and slid their programs under their seats seeming to be excited for the show. The musical kicked off with a musical number with the Transylvanian ensemble cast including the much beloved character Inspector Hans Kemp, played by Keith Brown who will be graduating this year with an acting degree.
“My favorite part of playing Kemp was being able to make people laugh by being so ridiculous,” Brown said.
By Scene 5 the three main cast members including the audience favorite Igor, played by senior Christopher Moreno who will be graduating with a major in accounting and minor in acting, were introduced.
“The best part of being Igor was being able to be a little boy,” Moreno said. “I got put things in my mouth and bite things and do things.”
The cast members then powered through Act One, the audience laughing and enjoying every moment of it.
The second act begun with the musical number “He’s Loose” which gave the audience their first good look at the Monster. The Monster who originally advertised as being played by a surprise guest was revealed to be played by Dmitry Tokarsky. Tokarsky, a theater veteran, has been in plays like Skin Deep, Ave Q, A Christmas Carol, Circle Transformation, Almost Maine, and many others.
Erik Standiford, who portrayed the title character, Victor Frankenstein, personified the role as wild and loud as the original actor Gene Wilder has once done during the movie version.
“The hardest part of being Frankenstein was allowing the inner psycho inside of all us come out but still stay sane,” Standiford said. “sometimes in public the insane part would come out and that’s not a good thing.”
The play which benefited from the actors of the main roles wouldn’t however even exist without ensemble cast members. One of these cast members Jillian Gibson, a HSU transfer student with a major in music with an emphasis in voice, knows the importance of her small role.
“My favorite part of being in the show was being a part of something bigger, we had to, as the ensemble, support the other actors during every scene,” Gibson said.
Farrar was not the only audience member who enjoyed the play. Excited voices discussed their favorite characters, scenes, and songs after the play ended. A special HSU Centennial Production, Humboldt Unbound is being direction by Michael Fields and will be showing in the Van Duzer Theatre showing Nov. 7-17. more information about the productions along with full bios of the actors and actresses can be found at http:///hsustage.blogspot.com/ Move this sentence to the end of the story.