red lights

Concert Livewire
basement tapes concert reviews cd reviews interviewsticket swap music news

A barrel of monster sized
laughs and sing-a-longs

"Young Frankenstein"
Cadillac Palace
Chicago, IL
Nov. 10, 2009
Young Frankenstein Young Frankenstein

Story by Andy Argyrakis
Publicity photos

Anyone who goes into the Broadway tour of Mel Brooks' cult classic movie turned musical "Young Frankenstein" looking for some sophisticated script or enrapturing plotline is completely missing the point. Instead, it's a riotous parody of the horror genre with plenty of implausible scenarios and over the top vignettes that fall into the funnyman's brash tradition that moviegoers have grown to love for practically the last century. And while Brooks isn't as well known in theatre circles, he's certainly expanding that repertoire, which is off to a strong start thanks to the multiple Tony Award winning blockbuster hit "The Producers."

As for his latest monster-sized spectacle, it's the standard "Frankenstein" tale on steroids, chronicling the otherworldly creation through the work of a mad man and his colorful minions, not to mention the hysterically stereotypical town of Transylvania. From the "scientist" Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced "Fronkensteen" and performed by Broadway original Roger Bart) to the green-tinted giant Monster (played by fellow original Shuler Hensley), the characters leap off the stage with personality, while the props provide an apt re-creation of the infamous lab where the Monster is created.

Take for instance the revolving bookcase with the secret passage way (where Dr. Frankenstein gets stuck) or the brain transfer chamber with all of its "Weird Science" styled regalia. Both locations, and their subsequent scenes, bring attendees into the heart of the tongue in cheek chaos, which heightens with a chase scene from concerned townspeople and softens with a tap dance scene as the Monster is affirmed by the full cast during "Puttin' on the Ritz."

Though it doesn't exactly possess any soundtrack standards like more serious Broadway shows, sexually-charged tunes like "Roll in The Hay" and "Listen to Your Heart" were just as catchy as they were delightfully corny. By the time the entire town was seeking praises on the redeemed Monster and his relieved creative team during the sarcastic "Finale Ultimo," this particular audience was on its feet and basking in Brooks' and the touring cast's bawdy brilliance.

"Young Frankenstein" continues at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through December 13 with additional information at or

Young Frankenstein

What Do You Think?



City & State:

e mail:

Here's Your Chance to.... Respond!

Your feedback will be featured on
Rant or Rave within 24 hours.

Return to Features
Return to Menu