Friday, April 11, 2014

"Young Frankenstein" at Seattle Musical Theatre is fun

Young Frankenstein
Seattle Musical Theatre
through April 13

Seattle Musical Theatre's production of Young Frankenstein is a pleasing one, with a solid cast of young singer/performers and a very well done set for a very complicated trick-stage show.

This stage version of the Mel Brooks movie is as romp-filled as the movie, with the same sensibilities. Since it is a riff on the pseudo-scientific making of a human, there has to be a complicated dungeon laboratory with gizmos that work and special effects. Also stuff like paintings that come to life and library doors that rotate when a candle is lifted. The credits go to Samuel Pettit for set design and Zak Scott (technical director) and Caleb Dietzel (sound and lights) for making it come to life.

The leads are well cast for the most part and include good work from Jeremy Adams as Frederick FronkenSTEEN, Brenna Wagner as Inga, Ellen Dessler as Frau Blucher and Corey Day as Monster. Unfortunate mugging and unfunny overplay comes from Megan Tyrrell as Elizabeth, though she is a terrific singer.

Direction by Samuel Jarius Pettit moves the action credibly, but the fact that the show was not nearly as funny as it should have been may well be due to Pettit's going for the slapstick humor while winking at the audience. This show really only works when everyone takes it deadly seriously.

The bravura performance in this show comes from the versatile Noah Duffy as Igor (EYE-gor). He sings and dances and contorts and sucks up and has an impeccable sense of comic timing. Another nugget of fun was from Jeffrey Spaulding in several small roles.

Justin Beal's music direction was well done, with a small band, and choreography by Debbie Pierce looked to take advantage of some with many skills while not taxing anyone too much with moderate ones.

You have a few more performances this weekend to catch this crowd-pleasing musical. For more information, go to Brown Paper Tickets or call 206-363-2309.

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