Theatre Mirror Reviews - "YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN"

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Note: Entire Contents Copyright 2017 by Tony Annicone



”YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN”

Reviewed by Tony Annicone



Shining Lights Productions current show at the Stadium Theatre is "Young Frankenstein" by Mel Brooks. This musical is the inspired reimaging of the Frankenstein legend based on Mel Brooks classic comic movie masterpiece. The story follows bright young Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (that's Fronkenstein) as he attempts to complete his grandfather's unfinished masterwork of bringing a corpse to life. Together with his oddly shaped and endearing helper Igor (that's Eye-gor), his beautiful curvaceous lab assistant, Inga and in spite of his incredibly self involved madcap fiancee Elizabeth, Frederick succeeds in creating a monster but not without scary and quite hilarious complications. Throw in the mysterious Frau Blucher and assorted wild and crazy characters and you have the necessary ingredients for a rip roaring musical that will entertain you all night long. Director John Kevin McElroy Morgan creates a high energy musical from start to finish. It will leave you laughing in the aisles at the expertise of this talented cast and their expertise wins them a resounding standing ovation at the close of the show.

John blocks the show excellently, obtaining many laughs at the clever shtick that he gives his talented cast. Musical director Linda Barbieri taught the cast the music and conducts a topnotch 10 piece orchestra while playing the piano Mia Berube provides terrific dance numbers that stop the show. Some outstanding numbers include the fabulous tap dance to "Putting on the Ritz" and the manic "Transylvania Mania" dance to name a few. Aidan Horrigan commands the stage as Dr. Frankenstein. He is a triple threat performer with a powerful singing voice. Aiden makes this role his own. His songs include "The Brain" and "Man About Town" and his interactions with his fellow cast members is astounding, too. The song that convinces Frederick to go into his grandfather's business occurs in a dream when the grandfather returns and sing "Join the Family Business" which sounds like "The Dream" from Fiddler. Mike Griswald displays his strong voice in this number. Brian Lopes is hilarious as his sidekick, Igor. He steals many a scene with his moving hunch on his back. Brian's line delivery and dead pan looks as well as his many comical facial expressions are marvelous. His song and dance with Aidan in the vaudeville number "Together Again for the First Time" stops the show with hilarity. Brian handles this wild and crazy character wonderfully. He plays this dumbbell part wonderfully.

Lisa Ziniti Palmer, a beautiful brunette wears a blonde wig as Inga, the sexpot assistant of the Doctor. She plays the part perfectly. Lisa displays her strong soprano voice in "A Roll in the Hay" when she first meets the Doctor and Igor as well as in "Listen to Your Heart" when she seduces Frederick at last. Her singing and dancing in this role is splendid and her accent is topnotch, too. Rebecca Donald is a hoot as Frau Blucher and steals many a scene from this show full of scene stealers. Her show stopping song is "He Vas My Boyfriend" where she sings of her past love affair with Victor Frankenstein, Frederick's grandfather where he plowed her like the field.. Becca's line delivery is marvelous, too. Mike Myers is fantastic as the monster. His scene with the hermit is extremely comical and his singing and dancing to "Putting on the Ritz" is a definite show stopper. Ashley Lopes plays Elizabeth, the stuck up fiancee of Frederick. Her lovely voice is heard in "Don't Touch Me" where she lords it over the fellow travelers on the trip to Transylvania where she doesn't want Frederick to touch her, in "Ah, Sweet Mystery" when the monster kidnaps her and has sex with her as well as in the double entendre number "Deep Love" where she proclaims the prowess of the monster in bed. Ashley has many naughty one liners that she delivers with ease. Brian Wolfe-Leonard plays officious Inspector Kemp and the comic hermit. He sings the comic song "I Need Someone" as he burns the monster's crotch with hot soup and lights the monster's finger on fire. A standout moment in the show is the messenger boy's letter delivery to Frederick when he gives him the finger. Nolan Gibbons is a hoot in this role. Kudos to the entire cast and crew for bringing this spectacular musical to life at the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket. So for a fun filled night of entertainment at its finest, be sure to catch Shining Lights Production's "Young Frankenstein" before it is too late.

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (5 to 7 May)
Shining Lights Productions, Stadium Theatre, 28 Monument Square, Woonsocket, RI
1(401)762-4545 or www.stadiumtheatre.com




THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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