Lightning Bolt Productions burst onto the Boca Raton theatre scene last August with their well-received production of The Addams Family at the Boca Black Box Center for the Arts. The success of the fledgling company's first effort encouraged the company's young founder Jessie Hoffman, to 'bump it up a level': their next production, Young Frankenstein - The Mel Brooks Musical, will open on April 13th at West Boca Performing Arts Center at West Boca High School*. The show will run through April 22nd.

Hoffman, who has already amassed an impressive list of theatrical credits at age 27, will direct the production. She is enthusiastic - and very serious about her theatre company. "I want to bring more professional theatre to Boca Raton," she explains. "I want to give young, up and coming local professional and soon to be professional actors a chance to show what they can do, and to show local audiences they don't have to go far to see excellent theatre - it's right here in their own back yard."

Jessie Hoffman grew up in Boca Raton. She attended Dreyfoos School of the Arts and is a graduate of Boca Raton High School. She also completed studies at the New York Film Academy in New York, NY majoring in their Musical Theater program. Jessie has won singing and acting competitions from Florida to New Mexico and has performed and worked with various celebrities including Pat Cooper and Pete Barbutti. One of her proudest moments was being chosen as a "long lost member of The Addams Family" by the original Broadway cast of The Addams Family, which included such stars as Nathan Lane, Bebe Neuwirth, Kevin Chamberlin, Krysta Rodriguez, and Wesley Taylor.

Jessie has had leading and supporting roles in many productions including the Off Broadway hit The Fantasticks, The Wizard of Oz, The Addams Family, Reefer Madness, Next to Normal, The Sound of Music, Into the Woods, RENT, Spring Awakening, Footloose, Gypsy, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and 13 the Musical. As a director she has worked on such shows as Annie, The Addams Family, Young Frankenstein, 13 the Musical, Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, Alice In Wonderland, Seussical, Willy Wonka, and many musical revues she wrote and put together herself. Jessie has also worked and directed at Children's Theaters and camps for over eight years and enjoys nothing more than sharing her love of theater with kids of all ages.

Hoffman is already hard at work directing the cast of Young Frankenstein - several of whom are Addams Family returns including Jonathan Cabrera who will play Igor, and Max Miller who will play Frederick Frankenstein. Jessie herself will play Inga. The young dynamo has no qualms about handling the double-duty roles of directing and acting. "I played Wednesday in The Addams Family, she says, "and it worked out really well... no problem at all!"

When asked how she came up with the name 'Lightning Bolt Productions', Hoffman is eager to explain: "Growing up, all the stories that had a major impact on me in a positive way had something to do with lightning," she says. "Whether it was Harry Potter, The Flash, Struck By Lightning, and even a character's costume in a Youtube series created by Thomas Sanders... these were the stories that inspired me, and I want the shows that my company puts on to give the audience that same inspired and positive feeling that those books, movies, and series gave me."

Tickets for Young Frankenstein - The Mel Brooks Musical are on sale now and can be purchased on line at or by phone at 561-886-8286. Tickets are $35. Group rates (6 or more tickets purchased in one transaction) are $28, and student tickets ($20 with valid ID) are also available.

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From This Author Carol Kassie

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