Whether “Putting’ on the Ritz” or enjoying a roll in the hay, the cast of the musical comedy “Young Frankenstein” are ready to set toes tapping and tickle funny bones Sept. 15 to Oct. 1 at the Players Guild of Dearborn.
A parody of the horror film genre, it is based on the 1974 Mel Brooks movie by the same name. It features a book by Brooks and Thomas Meehan, and music and lyrics by Brooks.
Directed by Marc Walentowicz, with musical direction by Kevin Dewey and choreography by Janeen Bodary, the madcap comedy follows Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of legendary Victor Frankenstein, who comes to Transylvania to settle the mad scientist’s estate. Frederick finds himself drawn into his grandfather’s experiments. Add in beautiful lab assistant Inga, his grandfather’s helper, Igor, an American socialite and a mysterious housekeeper, and the stage is set for a rollicking comic romp.
The cast includes Alex Gojkov as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, Jared Hoffert as the Monster, Dylan Hart as Igor, Madeleine Bien as Inga, Lindsay Frischmuth as Elizabeth Benning, Leslie Garber as Frau Blucher, Tony Primeau as Inspector Hans Kemp, Keith Rikli as the Blind Hermit and Elijah Buterbaugh as Ziggy.
The ensemble features Tim Carney, Charlotte Clavet, Leah Frazier, Amy Jones, Sarah Kornacki, Carissa Lokken, Holly Myers, Steve Nazarek, Odera Office, Samantha Reams, Kristen Sonberger, Sam Volpe and David Zolotarchuk.
Bodary said she has enjoyed choreographing the show, praising the creative team’s collaboration and the energy of the cast.
Cast member Rikli said the dance numbers are fun and are his favorite part of the show.
Hart said he enjoys the tap number “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”
“The tap number is absolutely incredible and the energy the cast brings to that number is amazing,” he said. “I can’t wait for audiences to see it.”
Musical director Dewey said the musical performances are also great.
“The cast throws themselves into the moment,” he said.
Cast member Sonberger said fans of the movie should definitely come see the show onstage.
“Mel Brooks is a showman, and his jokes and characters are meant to be enjoyed live, rather than on a screen,” she said.
Rikli said that adding songs and dances brings the story to the next level.
“If you love Mel Brooks, you can’t miss this,” he said. “The material is hysterical and the magic is everywhere.”
Bien said some of the songs were inspired from lines in the movie.
“There is so much to laugh at with this production,” she said. “From Mel Brooks’ sense of humor to the actors portraying nutty characters, you are bound to enjoy this production.”
Hoffert said the stage show makes the movie’s subtle jokes larger than life.
“It’s a fun night watching a classic script come to life in front of you,” he said.
Frazier said the stage version is well-written and funny.
“The music adds so much fun, joy and madness to an already hilarious story,” she said. “It’s a bold and hysterical new take on a well-known classic, the personality and humor of the cast shines and there are even more jokes.”
Bodary said the show provides festive fall fun.
“It has a hayride, werewolves and a monster to get you in the Halloween mood,” she said.
Performances are 8 p.m. Sept. 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30, and 2:30 p.m. Sept. 17 and 24 and Oct. 1 at the theater, 21730 Madison in Dearborn. Tickets are $26, and are available by phone at 313-561-TKTS and online at playersguildofdearborn.org.