The Herald Bulletin

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September 19, 2013

In Review: Monster mayhem excels at Mainstage

'Young Frankenstein' at Anderson theater through Sept. 28

(Continued)

ANDERSON, Ind. —

Alaina Coplin makes the perfect Inga. She’s the seductive assistant, replete with Transylvanian accent. From the moment the two horses turn their heads in the run up to “Roll in the Hay,” it’s impossible not to laugh. Inga and Dr. Frankenstein, riding in the hay-filled cart pulled by the horses, are hilarious as they bounce and jiggle their way through the song, culminating with Coplin’s crescendo of impressive yodeling.

Frankenstein’s girlfriend Elizabeth, played by Gretchen Baldwin, simpers through the play as the spoiled, perfectly coiffed princess for whom it’s all about “Me.” When she later emerges on stage with a hairdo that speaks volumes, and a song that almost makes one blush, she has nailed this role for all of its comedic worth.

Other characters absolutely make their mark as well. Sporting braids atop her head, and straddling a chair, Jane Cornelious totally owned her character, Frau Bleucher, singing “He was my boyfriend.”

Martin Stapleton as The Monster may not have a whole lot of lines, but he rocked this character. “Putting on the Ritz” with Dr. Frankenstein is, of course, simply crazy fun.

The impassioned cry of Ralph Sipes as the blind Hermit, thoroughly beseeching the powers that be for “Someone,” cannot fail to provoke laughter.

Look for the duo of Mike Harp and Craig Patty, singing a cappella, to steal a scene as well. And Inspector Hans Kemp (Aaron Jones) with his gloved hand and red be-medalled sash makes the classic village leader.

The musical is delightfully supported by a six-member backstage orchestra, which includes piano, two trumpets, trombone, French horn and drums under the direction of conductor Penny Dyer. During the review performance, there were times when the music began to overtake the chorus voices on stage, but no doubt those voices will pick up in volume as they go along.

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