I love the theatre but sadly I don’t go nowhere near enough. I've enjoyed every time I've gone to see a show, some more, like The Book of Mormon or The Lion King, some a little less like Dreamgirls. Only one bored me shitless so far: The Phantom of the Opera - I know, it’s not something you hear everyday, but my brain is wired different.
Regardless of my level of fondness for a show, there is always something special about the whole experience. The performers singing, dancing, acting and interacting with the audience, the way they draw you in. It’s no surprise big Hollywood stars that started on Broadway say they prefer it over filming a movie. It’s safe to say Young Frankenstein is one of the shows I had fun with the most.
Of course I knew about the black and white 1974 film by Mel Brooks, and even if strangely I've never watched the whole thing, being familiar with Mr Books’ humour, I had a good idea what to expect.
The musical is divided in 2 acts of 1 hour each and if you haven’t seen the movie like me, here’s what it’s about.
Frederick ‘Fronkensteen’ is a successful brain surgeon and professor from NYC that finds himself inheriting a castle in Transylvania from his late grandfather, mad scientist Victor Von Frankenstein. When Frederick decides to visit the family estate and starts spending time with hunchback Igor (pronounced Eye-gor), housekeeper Frau Blücher and lab assistant Inga, he finds himself drawn into a world he would have never considered an option in his life in the Big Apple.
Same as with films, I try never to read too much about a show because I like the surprise factor and not knowing exactly what it's about, so somehow I missed the fact that Young Frankenstein was a musical.
Little did I know, that was an added bonus. The songs are written and composed by none other than Mel Brooks himself so expect them to be catchy, obviously freakin hilarious and also, to my ears anyways, all brand new. Apart from the very famous “Puttin’ on the Ritz” towards the end – you’ll know it when you hear it.
Every note is hit to perfection and of course at the same time acted with all the expressivity I was lucky enough to clearly witness since we got our seats changed at the last minute from the Grand Circle (almost God seats) to 8 rows from the stage. Score!
The performers were all outstanding from the stars to the extras, but I was a bit disappointed Ross Noble wasn’t on stage to play Igor like I thought he was. Ross is pretty big here in the UK for various TV programs and stand up shows, but the world wide horror community might know him better for his role as gory and hilarious clown Stitches in the film of the same name – gosh I love that movie.
Saying that, the actor that was playing the hunchback, Cory English, was great in its own right. Other favourites of mine were Dianne Pilkington as the bride to be and Summer Strallen as Inga.
Young Frankenstein looks like it will be in London until at least the end of September so if you are here you still have plenty of time to catch it. If you live anywhere else, keep an eye out for it because if you are a fan of Mel Brooks or simply brilliant and funny shows, you need to check it out.