'Young Frankenstein': The hilarity is simply Abby Normal
Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein," directed by Randy Faulkner and starring J. C. Lawler, Daria Chelebecek, Don Langford, Kristy Kennedy, Linda Miller, Sean Jeralds, Greg Fine, Frank Malle, Carl Kennedy, Linus Porter, David Perez, Carole Albrecht, Joanie Allen, Janelle Devin, Carie Hughes, Ashley Lawler, Stan Reed, Doug Suits and Katrina Martin has hit the stage as the Prescott Center for the Arts' first show of the season. Based on the film of the same name, the show is hilariously fun and sets the bar for the rest of the season.
The plot of the play is much the same as the film's with a few minor and one major difference, namely that Brooks' stage show was a musical, whereas the only song in the film is "Puttin' on the Ritz." The actors do a great job bringing all these songs to life, especially the ones that could be thought up only by a man like Mel Brooks. For one, there's "Please Don't Touch Me" which involves J. C. (as Frederick Frankenstein) and Kristy (as Elizabeth Benning) dancing a Tango-esque dance without touching each other. The two pull it off in a way that makes it believable Frankenstein really wants to hold his fiancé when she doesn't like to be touched and quite humorous in how Frankenstein tries to make the best of the odd situation.
And that says one thing about J. C.'s acting: many times in the show he acts in a way very similar to Gene Wilder. This is clear in his mannerisms and body language, such as the first time he corrects someone on the pronunciation of "Frankenstein" and how he jerks his head back when doing so. Or when he's having the conversation with Igor about the brain in a jar.
The Monster is also excellently performed in every way, from the makeup and costuming to Jeralds' performance. His appearance is done so well he looks like a monster who would look perfectly in place for filmed production. And there's quite a range of acting for this character as he starts off an incoherent and growling monster who sings "Puttin' on the Ritz," which Jeralds made hilarious every time he semi-coherently warbled the title, up to the well-spoken smart monster following the brain transfer. The best part is, he's able to make both versions believable.
All of the above done so well gives credit to the directing ability of Faulkner. Even with the number of transitions that occur in the show, not once does the show drag or take the audience out of the theatrical experience. Rather they continue to be drawn in and anticipate what's going to happen next.
"Young Frankenstein" is hilarious and an all-around good time. Anyone looking for some fun and a few laughs is encouraged to see it.
Show times are at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 11-12, 17-19, and 24-26 and at 2 p.m. Sept. 13, 20 and 27. Tickets are $23 for adults and $19 for students for the 7:30 p.m. showings and $19 for adults and $14 for students during the 2 p.m. showings.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.pc-az.net or at the box office.
By Jason Wheeler. Follow reporter Jason Wheeler on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037 or at 928-642-5277.