‘Young Frankenstein’ opens April 28 at Barrow

It’s alive! “Young Frankenstein” is the hilarious work from acclaimed writer, director, actor, and producer, Mel Brooks. With the story pulled from the hilarious movie adapted for the stage and the addition of a toe-tapping score “Young Frankenstein” is a comedic home run for the Franklin Civic Operetta Association, according to the show’s producers.

The show’s opening weekend is Friday and Saturday, April 28-29, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Other performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7.

The association has tapped the directorial skills from Titusville’s Judy Millar to focus the Brooks style for its second offering this season. Using all of the comic genius provided in a stage version which enhances the immediacy of the comedy that brings this story to life, producers said.

The infectious score was written by Brooks while the book credit is shared with Thomas Meehan which garnered accolades from critics all across the country. The production has music direction by Andrea Fenske, accompaniment by George Wilbur and orchestra conduction by Jeff Brown.

A seasoned and highly talented group of actors and actresses star in Young Frankenstein, according to producers.

Ben Bodamer tackles the iconic Dr. Frederick Frankenstein role designed in film for the late great Gene Wilder. The character of Elizabeth, Frederick’s fiance, is expertly portrayed by Terri Gilmore. Tori Heckert plays Frau Blucher; Inga is portrayed by Tracy Brown and scene stealer Bret Sloan plays the hump laden assistant Igor. Add a Monster, played by Ben Hoover, who can be defined as a “triple threat,” the amazing voice and talent of a Franklin Civic Operetta Association legend John McConnell as The Hermit, Michael Eichholtz as Inspector Kemp and Johnathan Bartram as Ziggy and the stage just seems to explode.

When Frederick visits his grandfather’s, Dr. Viktor Von Frankestein played by Kevin Fox, estate in Transylvania Heights to settle it after his death he is lured into the family business and creates a monster.

Frederick’s hope is to endow his monster with the brain of a genius, but the brain has been substituted with one from someone named “Abby Normal.”

The monster goes on a rampage, the villagers want to hang Frederick, and his fiance, Elizabeth, arrives only to be swept off her feet by the monster.

However, through several great show numbers including “Putting on the Ritz” choreographed by Kasey Latshaw and Kolby Martin, and a barrage of classic Mel Brooks shtick, the ensemble knocks the show into hyper-drive.

Ensemble members include: Emily Niedbala, Betsy Novotny, Reginald Rice, Ashley Barletta, Jeri Bolton, Brianna Dahl, Mark Dougherty, Bill Hennessey, Kat Elan, David Fitz, Joseph Fitz, Kolby Martin, Katelyn Dougherty, Jackson Donovan, Andrea Fenske, all the while Frederick manages to transfer some of his own knowledge to the monster, who becomes brilliant.

The production value has been raised with the efforts and talents of Barrow-Civic Theatre tech director August Babington. Additional production team members include, assistant to director Jayme Millar, dance captain Emily Niedbala, stage manager Kathy Kahle, costumes by Lisa Harry, props by Dicky Huber, orchestra coordinator Jerry Zeigler, special effects by David Kellner and production managers Chuck Gibbons, Kolby Martin and Davin Cutchall.

The FOCA production of The New Mel Brooks Musical “Young Frankenstein” has been rated PG13 for adult situations and language.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and military, $14 for students. Group rates are available. Tickets are available by calling 437-3440 or online at http://www.barrowtheatre.com.