If you’re looking for something to do this cold October weekend in State College, look no further. Just in time for the spooky season, the Penn State Thespians are back with another one of their historically incredible musical performances, and this fall the show is “Young Frankenstein.”
A Mel Brooks musical, “Young Frankenstein” is about Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of mad scientist Dr. Victor von Frankenstein. Frederick is embarrassed to be a part of the Frankenstein family, intentionally pronouncing his last name wrong and attempting to dissociate himself from Victor’s wild ways. But, when he hears that his grandfather has died and has left his inheritance to him, Frederick must make the journey to Victor’s residence, Transylvania Heights.
What ensues is the introduction of zany character after zany character, revelations about past relationships, the creation of new relationships, scientific plots, escapes, danger and a whole lot of tap dancing. Of course, because this is a Thespian production, the story of “Young Frankenstein” would not be complete without dynamic songs, elaborate dance numbers, and hysterical dialogue that is sure to entertain.
Meg Reed, a junior majoring in secondary English education, is the director of “Young Frankenstein.”
“This is one of the most difficult shows we have ever done,” she says. “There is a huge cast, challenging technical aspects, and insane dance numbers.”
Reed explains that the entire cast had to learn to tap dance in order to successfully execute the seven elaborate ensemble numbers.
Shannon Walker, a junior majoring in elementary education with a theater minor and producer of “Young Frankenstein,” says that everyone should come out to see a performance because it is “a monster of a show.” She says that it’s just an “absolutely enjoyable and fun time, with elements that are sure to shock and surprise the audience.”
The choice to present “Young Frankenstein” was certainly a thematic departure from some of the Thespians’ most recent performances. Last spring’s “Spring Awakening” focused on extremely dark and heavy elements, tugging at viewers’ heartstrings. “Young Frankenstein,” however, plays more to the audience’s funny bones. The script is teeming with witty dialogue, and each joke is delivered with such deliberate timing you’d better listen closely if you want to catch it all.
The technical features of the show are also of very high quality. Upon sitting in your seat, you are transported to the inside of a factory with cogs, wheels and colorful wires adorning the walls. A large projected screen in the background sets each scene, and it is evident that particular attention to detail was paid regarding lighting, makeup, costumes, movements and even the accents performed by the cast.
VALLEY cannot rave enough about the brilliance of the Penn State Thespian’s “Young Frankenstein.” Get ready for lovable characters, a plethora of sexual innuendos and an overall great time. As Shannon Walker puts it, “come see our show — it is alive!”
“Young Frankenstein” is showing at Schwab Auditorium on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. You can reserve your tickets online here!