Get ready to laugh until you cry as the Gateway Playhouse presents the Long Island premiere of the uproariously funny, Young Frankenstein. Based on the 1974 movie of the same name, Mel Brooks’ Tony nominated musical takes Gateway by storm with raunchy, eyebrow-raising, cackle-inducing humor.
Young Frankenstein is the riotous story of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, who, after the death of his mad scientist grandfather, unwillingly discovers his own inclination towards the “family business.” The results are hysterical, as we go on this mad journey of fantasy, horror and fun with the good doctor and his cohorts.
Dr. Frankenstein, played by the enigmatic and talented John Bolton, leaves his flaky fiancé Elizabeth in England and travels to Transylvania to visit the castle of his ancestors and is immediately confronted by the hunchback Igor, an over-eager servant of the family. Igor, played by funny guy Nathan Klau, tries to convince the doctor to follow his grandfather’s footsteps in the comical number “Together Again for the First Time.” Igor has hired a new lab assistant, the yodeling beauty Inga, played by Lara Seibert. In “Roll in the Hay” we giggle and blush as Dr. Frankenstein tries—and fails—to not be charmed by his new assistant. She amusingly yodels her way into his, er, heart, and his lap! Seibert wins over the audience with her charm and superb yodeling skills.
At the creepy castle on the hill, we meet the spooky housekeeper Frau Blucher, whose spoken name on cue makes horses scream with fright. In her weirdly entertaining number “He Vas My Boyfriend,” we learn Frau Blucher (cue horses) did not just keep the house for the late Victor von Frankenstein (he vas her boyfriend!).
As Dr. Frankenstein falls into a restless sleep in the castle’s library, his grandfather—and a number of other long-dead ancestors—urge him to “Join The Family Business” and bring a corpse to life. After poring over his grandfather’s notes, the good doctor decides that yes, it can be done! He instructs Igor to retrieve a corpse and a very specific brain—the brain of a genius. Igor, not being the smartest hunchback in Transylvania, drops the brain on the floor and instead gives the doctor Abby Normal’s brain. Cue peals of laughter!
The townspeople realize Dr. Frankenstein has created another monster after Frau Blucher takes pity on the creature and releases him, in the middle of “Transylvania Mania.” The curtain closes as the monster takes off into the “forest.”
The best scene of the show had to be “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” where tears of laughter were poring down my face. Dr. Frankenstein and his crew attempt to convince the townspeople that the monster is a “gentleman,” through the Irving Berlin classic tune. The entire cast was spot-on—the comedy of the situation seeming so natural for these characters. As the monster, Brad Nacht is entertaining, yet he pulls at your heartstring. At the end of the number, the flashing lights of cameras startle the monster, sending him into a rampage where he kidnaps Elizabeth. In the number “Deep Love” we realize the monster and Elizabeth have fallen in love. All ends on a happy note, the monster becomes intelligent through another miracle of science, and Elizabeth becomes his bride—wacky hairdo and all. The good doctor and Inga become engaged, and they all live happily—and weirdly—ever after.
With a Broadway set that blew the audience away and a cast that sparkled in every scene, Gateway has another spectacular hit to put in the books. Mel Brooks’ parody of horror is fun, fantastic and a must-see this summer!
Young Frankenstein is playing now through June 29 at the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport. For tickets call 631-286-1133 or visit pacsc.org.