ANDERSON, Ind. — The scene is the dark and eerie world of a Transylvanian castle with a horrible secret. Don’t be deceived – it’s anything but. It’s merely the set for the hilarious, madcap musical that Anderson’s Mainstage Theatre soundly delivers beginning tonight. “Young Frankenstein” opens this evening, another comedic coup for our community theater.
Tommy Thomas directs this truly fun Mainstage production. The play is based on the 1974 film written by Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder, which turned Mary Shelley’s classic on its head and then some. The classic was transformed into a musical by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan and first appeared on Broadway in 2007.
“Young Frankenstein” tells the story of Frederick Frankenstein’s return to the ancestral Transylvanian home of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, which he has inherited. Despite his initial rejection of the notion, he is drawn into recreating his grandfather’s experiment in “reanimation.”
Prepare to laugh. The Mainstage production of “Young Frankenstein” is filled with all sorts of comedic elements delivered wonderfully by a devoted cast. It is a production to be savored by an adult audience, with plenty of loaded innuendo and the occasional use of coarse language. It all serves to make everyone laugh, and laugh well.
Gabe Porch as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein seizes the stage when he first turns to face the audience, announcing his absurdly pronounced name and singing “The Brain” with command. He keeps a firm hold on it all the way to the end of the play, along with several other very strong characters.
Bill Malone apparently couldn’t help but fully embrace the character of Igor. Clad in his black hooded garb with the roving humpback, Igor prances with splayed jazz hands, plays the French horn upside down between his legs, and makes a startling snatch with his teeth in just a sampling of his zany moments.