BWW Review: The West Milford Players Presents Mel Brooks' YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
The West Milford Players present the Mel Brooks Musical, Young Frankenstein with book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan and Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks and original direction and choreography by Susan Stroman. This production is directed by Lisa Dascoli with music direction by Rich Fusilli and choreography by Jonathan Crespo.
When a musical is based off of a movie that had legendary names attached to it (Gene Wilder, Terri Garr, Chloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Peter Boyle and Marty Feldman) and was done on Broadway with big named Broadway Actors (Roger Bart, Sutton Foster, Andrea Martin, Megan Mullally and Christopher Fitzgerald) it is sometimes hard for audiences to get those performances out of their head and enjoy what is on stage. With this cast, it is easy to indulge in their performances, that at some points paid slight homage to their predecessors, all while making it fresh and new in their own way.
Two stand out performances that are testaments to the above statement are being performed by Debra Lynch as Frau Blucher and Jesse Ginder as Igor. Lynch and Ginder are both scene stealers. Debra Lynch is a show stopping Frau Blucher. She creates the character with her larger than life presence and voice, commanding the stage in each of her scenes, and making the audience hang on her every word. Lynch keeps everyone laughing especially during her big number "He Vas My Boyfriend." The audience is in shock as soon as Ginder appears onstage, as he reminded all of us of Marty Feldman, but he does an amazing job at bringing the character to life in his own way. His movements, facial expressions and the way he delivers his lines has the audience falling in love with Igor and his comedic timing.
Alex Marchesani and Ann M. Alfano portray Frederick and Inga respectively. The two have a wonderful chemistry together and depict the iconic roles with ease. Nat Gennace makes us fall in love with him as the Monster. His vocal sounds and the way he carries himself on stage as Frankenstein's Monster is incredible. Katie Steel entertains as Frederick's conceited fiancé Elizabeth and has everyone laughing at her diva-like attitude especially during her song "Please Don't Touch Me." Mark Hermmann is remarkable as the rigid Kemp.
The talented cast includes Alex Marchesani as Frederick, Ann M. Alfano as Inga, Nat Gennace as Monster, Debra Lynch as Frau Blucher, Katie Steel as Elizabeth, Brandon Nichols as Ziggy, Mark V. Bueno as Dr. Victor von Frankenstein/The Hermit, Mark Herrmann as Kemp, Annick Vasquez in the Ensemble, Graham Ullman in the Ensemble, Noelle Corbett in the Ensemble, Jacqueline "Jackie" Saunier in the Ensemble, Jonathan Crespo in the Ensemble, Christine Alessio in the Ensemble and Michelle Womack in the Ensemble.
The production crew is comprised of Director Lisa Dascoli, Musical Director/Keyboardist Richard Fusilli, Properties/Ensemble Member Jacqueline "Jackie" Saunier, Ensemble Member/Choreographer Jonathan Crespo, Lighting/Sound/Construction crew member Bob Kreutz, Set Designer/Graphics/Properties crew member Turner Striffler and Makeup Artist Stan Saja. Set painting is by Turner Striffler and Peg Wescott. Costumers were Erika Crocco, Gabriella Crocco, Rebecca Shuster and Cast.
Young Frankenstein runs May 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th, and 19th. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 PM and Sunday performances are at 2 PM at The Theater at Macopin MS located at 70 Highlander Drive in West Milford NJ.
Tickets are $20 for Adults and $18 for Students and Seniors. Part of this show's proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
For tickets please visit www.thewestmilfordplayers.org or call 973-697-4400
Photo Credit: The West Milford Players