The magical Cadillac Palace Theater with its bright, blinking lights was only a prelude to the electrifying ambiance that lay inside. The buzz and anticipation of many loyal Brooks fans filled the house as the overture began. The curtain opened to unveil an elaborate array of scenery by acclaimed New York set designer, Robin Wagner. With the use of strobe lights, smoke and eerie hues by lighting artist William Ivey Long, the results were simply mind blowing, creating the perfect spooky setting, only to be offset by the utter lunacy that was yet to come.
Fredrick Frankenstein, an accomplished doctor and professor, brilliantly played by Tony Award winner Roger Bart, is summoned to Transylvania to settle his grandfather, the infamous Victor Von Frankenstein’s, estate. Upon arrival, he meets the castle’s own cast of wacky characters including Igor ( Cory English) the humpbacked assistant sent to him to help him restore his family business; the business of reanimating the dead. Also to assist him in his endeavors, is the enthusiastic, buxom blonde, Inga ( Anne Horak) and Frau Blucher ( Joanna Glushak), the ex-girlfriend of Victor Frankenstein. After being lured down to his grandfathers secret laboratory, Dr. Frankenstein conducts an experiment gone awry, creating a Monster, brilliantly portrayed by Schuler Hensley.
You don’t have to be a Mel Brooks aficionado to appreciate the crude yet silly humor and strewn with witty, pop culture references, the musical adaptation is only all the more amusing!
The show surely wouldn’t have been what it was without dazzling choreography. Distinguished director and choreographer Susan Stroman hypnotized the crowd with lively, upbeat dance numbers that had everyone applauding for more. An enthused audience roared with laughter during songs like “He Vas my Boyfriend” and “The Brain” and brimmed with enthusiasm and excitement during numbers like “Transylvania Mania” and the highlight of all dance performances, “Puttin’ on the Ritz”. Seeing a seven-foot tall green monster tap dancing to a 1929 Irving Berlin classic in a top hat and tails is something no one should miss!
It was such a thrill to see this musical extravaganza on its first national tour. To see such talent in Chicago is a great privilege that everyone should take advantage of. Overall, Young Frankenstein is a toe tapping good time that I would highly recommend and truly a comedy of monstrous proportions!
Cadillac Place Theater
151 W. Randolph Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602
November 3- December 13, 2009
Tickets start at $60.00
For further information contact www.cadillac-palace.com
Theater Photos: National Tour Production Images