This is one of those cases of my loving a show so much that I didn’t even take one note all night! So I guess you’ll just have to go see it for yourself to get the entire picture, in case I leave something out of my review, by accident.
But let me tell you, this is perhaps the best production put on by 3D Theatricals ever! I had seen the touring company of the Broadway musical Young Frankenstein a few years ago, and I promise you—this presentation is superior to that one, even with the same script and recreation of the original direction and choreography!
I’m sure that even if you’re not familiar with this musical itself, you can figure-out that the story is the same one in the movie of Young Frankenstein. And they’re both written my Mel Brooks. So, the show is hilarious to being with. The young doctor grandson of the original Dr. Frankenstein leaves New York to go to his deceased ancestor’s home in Transylvania Heights after the old man passes away. That’s all you need to know.
The show is rife with normal Broadway musical comedy singing and dancing, yet it’s campy as heck. It starts out semi-normal, but becomes hilarious soon enough. Even my friend Thomas, a notorious non-laugher, guffawed out loud several times! I was shocked to hear so much laughter coming from him.
And you should perhaps wear a pair of Depends for the second act, especially for the musical number, Putting On The Ritz, which is gorgeous and riotous at the same time, (sort-of like I used to be, “used to” being the operative words there—for both aspects of that description!)
Even though the writing is of paramount importance to this show, these performances definitely supported that work. They could not have come up with a more perfect lead as Frederick, the grandson, if Frankenstein himself had created him! Beside his spot-on acting, Dino Nicandros has the most beautiful singing voice! At times, I really wanted the show to stop, even enjoying it as I was, so I could just listen to Dino do his own concert. I loved that guy!
My next faves were Ashley Fox Linton as Frederick’s fiancee, whose voice is stunning, and Danny Blaylock as The Monster. He’s a hoot and a half, and his scene with Richard Gould as a blind hermit is one of the highlights of the show.
Adding to all of that are the exciting visuals, the beautiful singing and dancing, the wonderful musicians, the creative sets, and the colorful costumes. And, most of all, the zaniness from the nutty mind of Mel Brooks. That, of course, means that there’s a bit of raunch here and there, but somehow, it’s not even close to offensive.
And best of all, it’s a happy show! A very happy one. The opening night crowd was buzzing and upbeat, and not in a rush to leave the beautiful Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center after the performance. As a theatre critic, I’m sort-of sick of all the shows around town that are sad and depressing, because they think that exhibits some kind of better acting/writing. They’re not fun to watch, and worse to review because I’m all about sunshine and light, and I hate bummers, which most of them are. So if I were every one of you, I would see this production of Young Frankenstein while it’s here in SoCal because you’ll never see one better! I swear—if I had time, I’d go back for a second time myself! It’s that marvelous a show!!!
Now, I do have to bring the room down just a tad because 3D Theatricals’ lovely and very well-spoken Executive Producer, T.J. Dawson, made an announcement about their company going forward that made me sad. For me, a big part of the wonderfulness of this company’s shows is the actual venue, the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. There’s not a bad seat in that beautiful, easygoing theatre, and the parking is the best ever, so I’m always excited to go there. But, sadly, after the next three productions, this fabulous company won’t perform there anymore because they’re becoming the resident company of Cerritos Center For The Performing Arts. I wish them major success with that, but will sorely miss them in the South Bay. (And, if I can find a pal to drive to Cerritos, wherever that is, I will, of course, follow 3D Theatricals down there. Or across. Or up. I’ll figure-out the direction next year!)
Young Frankenstein running through October 15, 2017
Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center
1935 E. Manhattan Blvd., Redondo Beach 714-589-2770
Then continues through October 29, 2017
Cerritos Center For The Performing Arts
12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos 562-916-8500