Its only fitting that Lyric Arts’, located in the “Halloween Capital of the World”, most ambitious show to date is Young Frankenstein. This campy, over-the-top musical comedy based on the classic Mel Brooks movie from 1974 and adapted into a Broadway musical in 2007 lives up to the farces and comedic parodies he’s known for.
Young Frankenstein follows the grandson of the late mad scientist Dr. Victor von Frankenstein, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein who has gone to great lengths to distance himself from his grandfather’s legacy. Upon learning he has inherited his grandfather’s castle in Transylvania Heights, he makes the trip from to New York to close up loose ends. Once in Transylvania Heights things fall off the rails and Dr. Frankenstein along with buxom lab assistant Inga, hunchback sidekick Igor and his grandfather’s girlfriend Frau Blücher take on the ambitious task of continuing his late grandfather’s work.
Kyler Chase dons the lab coat of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein and is perfectly cast in this role. His exaggerated facial expressions, perfectly timed comedic reactions and ability to go the extra mile to get a laugh carries the show. Brendan Veerman is delightful as Igor the hunchback with the mysteriously moving hump. As buxom lab assistant Nykeigh Larson gives quite the performance in “Roll in the Hay” while bouncing and yodeling all over Kyler Chase’s Dr. Frankenstein. Kate Beahen is the master of the reaction shot and serves as the source for many laughs. Tom Goerger as The Monster is masterful. You’d think a role that requires mostly grunts and walking with arms extended would be a thankless role. But, he brings heart and soul to this role that leaves you rooting for The Monster. His 6’5″ frame with 4 inch platform shoes allows him to tower over the rest of the cast. His ability to tap dance in platforms for “Puttin’ On The Ritz” is incredible. Katharine Strom nails her role as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein’s fiancé Elizabeth. She plays up the campy and over the top demands of the role. She plays up to Elizabeth’s spoiled rich girl, center of attention side flawlessly. She evokes Megan Mullally who originated the role on Broadway.
Scenic Designer Brian Proball created an amazing set that is grand in scale complete with trap door bookshelves and an elaborate castle. No production of Young Frankenstein would be complete without the iconic ‘brain transfer chairs’ and the electrically charged exam table that brings The Monster to life descending from the rafters. Costume Designer Sam Fromm Haddow did an exquisite job creating over 100 costumes for 18 actors ranging from evening gowns, lab coats and villager attire.
Director Matt McNabb pulled off Lyric Arts’ largest production to date flawlessly. Along with the rest of the creative team, actors and orchestra have put together a Broadway caliber show in the limited space allotted to them.
Make the trek to Anoka to see this production before it closes on November 2.
For more information on Young Frankenstein visit Lyric Arts’ website. Due to its campy over-the-top humor this show is recommended for those over thirteen.