BWW Review: YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN at MCC PAC Musical Productions
BWW Review: Young Frankenstein
Funny, irreverent, clever, and surprising are a few of the words that describe Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. The songs are well-written and snappy, the set is incredible, and the choreography is imaginative.
The show opens with the townsfolk cheering that Victor Von Frankenstein has finally died and they will be safe. All of the numbers involving death are quite upbeat, which presents an interesting juxtaposition regarding the attitude one should have following a death, but Mel Brooks is never one to shy away from using his art to make a social commentary. The musical follows the namesake movie closely, the musical progresses quickly and keeps the audience entertained. The title character, played by JT Ziervogel, is well-educated and confident. Ziervogel is fun to watch, especially when confronted by the women in the show. He has excellent comedic timing and he has no trouble singing his face off.
While there is plenty of sexual innuendo to go around, the women in this show handle it with expertise. Paige Stabley as Elizabeth shines as Frederick's arrogant fiancé. Her voice is fantastic and she handles the shtick with panache. When the audience is introduced to Inga, played by Ari Lucius, the laughing did not stop the entire number. "Roll in the Hay" is perfectly executed. Lucius plays the ditsy blonde with sincerity which makes her even funnier. Frau Blücher (thunder clap) is wonderfully played by Angelica McGrew. McGrew is hilarious. She destroyed the audience every time she broke the 4th wall. She nailed "He Vas My Boyfriend" and added the perfect amount of mystery.
Always the perfect side kick, Igor brings the house down. With his mobile hump and unwavering loyalty, until his life is on the line, Zachary Cacciacarro is splendid. He sings well, he moves well, and he handles the material with comedic expertise. As The Monster, Jared Kitch is genius. He manages to say so much with a simple grunt. Kitch convinces the audience to care for The Monster. He also deftly handles The Monster becoming sexy - it's hilarious and one of the best moments of the show.
The supporting cast is phenomenal. Each member of the ensemble plays multiple roles, moves enormous set pieces, and brings humor to the proceedings. Zack Diepstraten as Inspector Kemp uses physical humor with ease. Darryl Poenisch as Victor, has a fantastic singing voice and surprises the audience with his turn as The Count. The audience was also treated to the excellent presence and vocals of Sergio Santa Cruz as the Hermit. The ensemble sounds amazing and presents the choreography with precision.
The technical aspects of this show are breathtaking. The set is sublime. The set pieces enhance the action and transport the audience into the action. The choreography, by Ashley Harkey, is exciting and appropriate. It is thrilling to watch the dance numbers unfold. The musical direction and orchestra, led by Cathy Hauan, set the perfect tone. The live orchestra sounds amazing and perfectly accentuates the mood. The direction by Allyson Van Patten is glorious. She understands the importance of subtlety, but does not shy away from the blatant humor. This show is hysterical and should not be missed. Although, definitely not appropriate for younger audiences.
Young Frankenstein plays at the Performing Arts Center at Mesa Community College through November 3rd. Trust me, you want to visit "The Happiest Town".