BWW Reviews: Arizona Broadway Theatre Gives Life to YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
Arizona Broadway Theatre gives life to Young Frankenstein in the musical adaptation of Mel Brooks' homage to the classic horror films of the 1930's, which opened on May 23rd and runs through June 22nd.
The company surmounts the challenge that comes with any effort to breathe vitality into parody, particularly the Mel Brooks variety that thrives on shtick. Making shtick click and stick ain't easy! It requires a magical blend of comic timing, delivery, and over-the-top acting. In the hands of the right performers, the parody's punch lines and double entendres will resonate and the audience's endorphins will be off on a joy ride. Several noteworthy performances prove the point.
When Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Kurtis Overby) arrives in Transylvania to continue the work of his infamous grandfather, it is Brad York's Igor that ignites the stage with a flurry of predictable punch lines and puns. He carries his hump with aplomb, and when he directs the Doctor to "walk this way," you know what's coming and relish it. It's vaudevillian and it's funny.
Becca Gottlieb gives a standout performance as Inga, who has been retained by Igor to serve as Frederick's lab assistant. Her stage presence is refreshing, her vocals are beautiful, and she mixes just the right blend of innocence and sexuality to make "Roll in the Hay" one of the show's highlights.
Frau Blücher, the forbidding presence that causes horses to neigh at the sound of her name, is skillfully portrayed by Kathi Osborne who shows her comic virtuosity in the semi-sorrowful rendition of "He Vas My Boyfriend."
The whole production knits together because of the inspired and masterful collaboration between Tralen Doler (director and choreographer) and his technical team, Morgan Andersen (costumes), Tim Monson (lighting), JR McAlexander (music), and Jack Magaw (scenic design).
Arizona Broadway Theatre offers more than well-crafted musicals. It is a unique way to experience theatre. It is dinner theatre in a stylish and comfortable setting that radiates commitment to audience delight, from the point of entry to the meal service and throughout its stagecraft. The company delivers its brand promise in this current production of Young Frankenstein.