Lovers of old fashioned nights at the theater, you know the ones where you sing and dance your way as you exit the theater and felt like you had a rousing good time, will love “Young Frankenstein” now showing at Charlotte's Blumenthal Performing Arts Center until Sunday.
The show’s lead Christopher Ryan (playing Dr. Frankenstein himself) is energetic and delightful charming the audiences on a two-hour fun fest that has all the delight of the classic Mel Brooks movie and more. Ryan offers a deft comedic touch and dancing chops that put Fred Astaire to shame. (To read my interview with Ryan, visit: http://www.thecharlotteweekly.com/arts_entertainment/2011/03/a-monstrous-hit/)
When Brooks hit comedy gold by transforming his 1968 sleeper movie, “The Producers” to a Broadway musical at the encouragement of his wife actress Anne Bancroft, he turned around and took the same creative team and they looked to doing the same with “Young Frankenstein.” When the show hit Broadway in 2007, critics’ enthusiasm was a bit muffled but truly the comparisons of the two are unfair.
“Frankenstein” is unique to itself. The audience is so enthusiastic about the material they mouth the lines even before the actors have a chance to. The result is that it’s more of a communal theatrical experience much more akin to “Rocky Horror Picture” but with so much more fun.
The musical numbers you loved in the movie, like “Puttin on the Ritz” is so much more when the real audience gets to play a part. And numbers like “Join the Family Business” take on a life of its own with a reimagined dream sequence that takes the original material to new heights.
Joining Ryan are Cory English (Igor) and Johanna Glushak (as Frau Blucher) who are truly spectacular. Musical numbers “Translyvania Mania” and the “He Vas My Boyfriend” are worth seeing the show for alone.
Whether you are a fan of the classic movie or newbie, go see “Frankenstein” and have a delightful evening. It’s old-fashioned entertainment in the very best way imaginable!
Tickets for “Young Frankenstein” can be purchased at http://www.carolinatix.org/ or by calling 704-372-1000.