During the Christmas season, the theatres get overrun with family friendly shows that, in too large a quantity, can cause adults to tear their hair and wish for something a little more grown up. The Durham Performing Arts Center’s presentation of Young Frankenstein, a raunchy musical romp, is exactly what the over eighteen crowd has been clamoring for. Featuring just the right touch of sexual humor and some catchy musical numbers, there really is no better way to pass an evening.
Most people are familiar with the story, based on the Mel Brooks film of the same name. Handsome, virginal and sexually frustrated Frederick Frankenstein (Christopher Ryan) departs for Transylvania, leaving behind his snooty fiancé Elizabeth (Janine Divita), in the hopes of carrying on his infamous grandfather’s name and bringing a corpse to life. Armed with the help of his hunchbacked assistant, Igor (Cory English) and the beautiful and sensual Inga (Synthia Link), Frankenstein makes his dreams a reality, though the results aren’t quite what he expected.
Ryan makes a perfectly lovable Frankenstein, showcasing fancy footwork and a mastery of tongue twisting lyrics, especially during his performance of “The Brain.” Divita’s Elizabeth has just the right touch of bitchery and a wonderfully glamorous wardrobe designed by William Ivey Long. Link’s Inga purrs with sensuality and charm in every scene and garners a well-deserved laugh with the hilariously staged “Roll in the Hay.” The big showstopper here, though, is Joanna Glushak’s Frau Blucher, the late Frankenstein’s girlfriend, as she so hilariously divulges to the audience with “He Vas My Boyfriend.” With great comic timing and a set of pipes to match, Glushak is one of the main reasons to keep watching.
The performance is incredibly high energy, complete with dazzling choreography by James Gray and Jeff Whiting and smoky, incredibly detailed sets and lighting by Robin Wagner and Peter Kaczorowski, respectively. The show pulls out all the stops with special effects usually found only in high-budget Hollywood movies and lyrics that the audience members will be humming for days to come. This is not a show to miss.
Young Frankenstein will continue through Sunday, December 12. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.dpacnc.com.