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Mel Brooks’ New Musical “Young Frankenstein” Brings Transylvania Mania to DPAC

Synthia Link as Inga, Christopher Ryan as Frederick Frankenstein, and Cory English as Igor

Durham Performing Arts Center present the new Mel Brooks musical, Young Frankenstein, based on Brooks’ uproarious 1974 cinematic spoof of Mary Shelley’s classic 1818 Gothic horror story Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, on Dec. 7-12 in its brand-new, 2,800-seat, state-of-the-art theater, in the American Tobacco District in downtown Durham, NC.

According to Durham Performing Arts Center:

“[Young Frankenstein is] a new musical comedy from the creative team of the 12-time Tony Award®-winning smash The Producers[. It] opened on Broadway Nov. 8th 2007 at the Hilton Theatre and [began its current] national tour [in] September 2009.

Young Frankenstein features a book by three-time Tony Award winner Mel Brooks and three-time Tony Award winner Thomas Meehan and music and lyrics by Brooks. Young Frankenstein is directed and choreographed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman. Musical supervision is by Glen Kelly.

Young Frankenstein was named Best Broadway Musical 2008 by the Outer Critics Circle Award and won five Audience Awards, including Favorite New Broadway Musical.

Clive Barnes of the New York Post called Young Frankenstein, ‘the Broadway musical at its dizziest, glitziest and funniest’ while Pat Collins of MY 9 News declared Young Frankenstein [is] ‘a monster hit.’ Jeffrey Lyons of WNBC TV said ‘this riotously funny musical will knock you clear across 42nd Street,’ and Roger Friedman of Fox News called it simply, ‘utter genius.’

Young Frankenstein played its pre-Broadway engagement at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre Aug. 7– Sept. 1, 2007.

“Based on the Oscar-nominated smash hit 1974 film, Young Frankenstein is the wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Mary Shelley classic from the comic genius of Mel Brooks. When Frederick Frankenstein, an esteemed New York brain surgeon and professor, inherits a castle and laboratory in Transylvania from his grandfather, deranged genius Victor Von Frankenstein, he faces a dilemma. Does he continue to run from his family’s tortured past or does he stay in Transylvania to carry on his grandfather’s mad experiments reanimating the dead and, in the process, fall in love with his sexy lab assistant Inga?

“Unfolding in the forbidding Castle Frankenstein and the foggy moors of Transylvania Heights, the show’s raucous score includes ‘The Transylvania Mania,’ ‘He Vas My Boyfriend’, and the unforgettable treatment of Irving Berlin’s ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz.’

“Released in 1974 to unanimous critical acclaim, the film received two Academy Award nominations, including one for Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder’s script, also nominated for a Writer’s Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Young Frankenstein was also the recipient of the two highest honors accorded films of science fiction: winning the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and The Nebula Award, given by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, for Best Dramatic Writing. Since its release, the film has become part of the national consciousness: in 2000, it was selected as #13 on [American Film Institute’s] 100 Funniest American Movies of All Time and in 2003, Young Frankenstein was chosen for preservation in the Library of Congress National Film Registry.

“The production team includes three Tony Award winning designers of The Producers: three-time Tony Award winning set designer Robin Wagner, five-time Tony Award winning costume designer William Ivey Long, and Tony Award winning lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski. Jonathan Deans is the sound designer. Two other Producers alumni complete the music department: Tony-award winning orchestrator Doug Besterman and musical director Patrick Brady.”

Durham Performing Arts Center presents YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7-9, 8 p.m. Dec. 10, 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 11, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at DPAC, in the American Tobacco District, at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701.

TICKETS: $25.75-$73, except $12 Student Rush Tickets.

BOX OFFICE: DPAC Box Office: 919/680-ARTS (2787),, or Ticketmaster: 800/745-3000, 919/834-4000, or

GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919/281-0587,, or







NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh ( will audio describe the 8 p.m. Dec. 11th performance.


The Musical: (official website), and (Internet Broadway Database).

The Tour: (official website).

The Film: (Wikipedia), and (Internet Movie Database).

Mel Brooks: (Wikipedia), (Internet Broadway Database), and (Internet Movie Database).

The 1818 Novel: (Wikipedia).


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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