Theatre Mirror Reviews "Young Frankenstein"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2015 by Tony Annicone

"Young Frankenstein"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The closing show of Theatre by the Sea's 82nd season is "Young Frankenstein" by Mel Brooks. Owner and producer Bill Hanney has spared no expense in bringing this hysterically funny musical to Matunuck this season. This musical is an inspired re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend based on Mel Brooks' classic comedy masterpiece. The story follows bright young Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (that's Fronkensteen) as he attempts to complete his grandfather's masterwork and bring a corpse to life. Together with his oddly shaped and endearing helper Igor (that's Eye-gor), his curvaceous lab assistant, Inga, and in spite of his incredibly self involved madcap fiance Elizabeth, Frederick succeeds in creating a monster but not without scary and quite hilarious complications. Throw in the mysterious Frau Blucker and assorted other wild and crazy characters and you have all the necessary ingredients for a rip roaring musical that will entertain you all night long. Director/choreographer Kevin Hill has a huge hit on his hands, making this  one of the must see shows of the summer season. Musical director Rodney Bush leads a topnotch 7 piece orchestra too entrance the audience. This musical is high energy from start to finish.

Kevin blocks the show perfectly, obtaining many laughs from the clever lines and lyrics to the songs. He also provides some terrific dance numbers that stop the show with the expert performance of his cast members. Some outstanding moments include the magnificent tap dance to "Puttin' on the Ritz" and the manic "Transylvania Mania" dance to name a few.Tommy Labanaris commands the stage in this role. He is a triple threat performer with an amazing tenor voice. Tommy makes this role his own. His songs include "The Brain" and "Man About Town" and his interactions with the other members is spot on, too. Brad Bradley is hilarious as his sidekick, Igor. He steals many a scene with his moving hunch on his back. Brad's line delivery and dead pan looks as well as his facial expressions are marvelous. His song and dance with Tommy in "Together Again for the First Time" stops the show. He handles this wild and crazy character wonderfully.

Mary Claire King is a voluptuous, statuesque girl who plays Inga, the blonde sexpot perfectly. Her songs include "Roll in the Hay" when she first meets Igor and Frederick and "Listen to your Heart" when she seduces Frederick at last. Her singing and dancing is phenomenal in this role and her accent is marvelous, too.  Sandy Rosenberg is hoot and steals many a scene from a show full of scene stealers. Her show stopping song is "He Vas my Boyfriend'' where she sings about her past with Victor Frankenstein. Her line delivery is splendid, too. Brian Padgett is marvelous as the monster. His scene with the hermit is hilarious and his singing and dancing to "Putting on the Ritz" is a definite show stopper. His cartwheel and split are stunning to behold as well. Bravo!  Britney Morello plays Elizabeth, the stuck up fiancee of Frederick. Her splendid soprano voice is heard in "Don't Touch Me" where she lords it over the voyagers on her journey to Transylvania, in "Ah, Sweet Mystery" when the monster kidnaps her and has sex with her, and the hilarious double entendre "Deep Love" where she proclaims the prowess of Frankstein in the bed department. Tom Gleadow is the officious Inspector Kemp and the comic Hermit. He sings the hilarious "I Need Someone" as he burns the monster's crotch with hot soup and lights his finger on fire. Tom's standout moment is when he imitates Al Jolson during this number. Kudos to the entire cast and crew who created a spectacular musical to close out the 82nd season at Theatre by the Sea. I have been attending shows here for the past 43 and this is among the top ten I have seen here. So be sure to catch ""Young Frankenstein" at Theatre by the Sea, before the show ends on September 6. Tell them Tony sent you.

"Young Frankenstein" (19 August - 6 September)
THEATRE BY THE SEA
@ 364 Card's Pond Road. MATUNUCK RI
1(401)782-8587

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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