My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
: Please Configure.
  • Thu
    27
  • Fri
    28
  • Sat
    29
  • Sun
    30
  • Mon
    1
  • Tue
    2
  • Wed
    3
Del Mar Mile Family Fun Run Nov 27, 2014 Kickoff Thanksgiving with a one mile run on the racetrack with a portion of the proceeds benefit Helen Woodward Animal Center and their equestrian therapy program. 47 other events on Thursday, November 27
 
Film
New Christopher Nolan epic leads our rundown of movies screening around town
Theater
First production by the latest troupe to launch in San Diego leads our rundown of local plays
Editorial
Bring it with you on Nov. 4
News
More than 3 years after his death, a jury will decide if it could have been prevented

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
Home / Articles / Arts / Theater /  ‘Young ...
. . . .
Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013

‘Young Frankenstein’ makes howling transition from screen to stage

Moonlight’s musical tops our coverage of local plays

By David L. Coddon
theater Larry Raben (left) and Randall Hickman
- Photo by Ken Jacques

Sorry, Blazing Saddles fans, but 1974's Young Frankenstein is Mel Brooks' best film. It's stylish insanity from start to finish. So, what a treat it was to discover that Brooks' 2007 musical-stage adaptation is also big-time entertainment. In Moonlight Stage Company's outdoor amphitheater in Vista, Young Frankenstein rocks the house, even if the jokes are a bit musty now ("Werewolf? There wolf"). Those familiar with and fond of the film know every line that's coming, yet they still get laughs. 

A bonus is the musical score. Brooks wrote that, too, along with the lyrics for the show, and while there's no Broadway classic here, there's at least one deliciously lascivious number ("Deep Love") and the very catchy "Transylvania Mania." Throw in Susan Stroman's high-stepping choreography, particularly on the showcase tune "Puttin' On the Ritz" (credit Irving Berlin, not Brooks, for that one, of course), and you have a people-pleasing night of theater not too far outside Moonlight's family-friendly confines.

This production, with re-created original direction and choreography by Matthew J. Vargo, also benefits from Robin Wagner's Broadway sets and costumes by William Ivey Long and a cast that stands up well against the all-stars from the film, which included Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman and Cloris Leachman. Jessica Bernard is a comic force of nature as the doc's fiancée, the role Kahn played, and her interplay (and intercourse) with the Monster (Randall Hickman, uproariously menacing) is a laugh riot. Tracy Lore as Frau Blucher (cue horse whinnying here) does Leachman proud, and Larry Raben's Dr. Frederick Frankenstein ("That's Fronk-in-Steen!") is steady and limber throughout.

A couple of the musical sequences slow the pace of the comic doings—does the blind hermit (Doug Davis) really need his own song?  But at least we're rewarded, as in the blind hermit's scene with the Monster, with Brooks' cup of camp overflowing. On the subject of cups overflowing, there's also a lot of cleavage on stage. Does that surprise you, or do you think "What knockers!" really has something to do with the door to the castle?

Young Frankenstein runs through Sept. 7 at Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista. $15-$50. moonlightstage.com


Write to davidc@sdcitybeat.com and editor@sdcitybeat.com.

Opening

Almost, Maine: A bunch of short plays about relationships in a mythical Northeast town. Opens Aug. 30 at Patio Playhouse in Escondido. patioplayhouse.com

Marry Me a Little: This one—which takes songs from other Stephen Sondheim musicals and places them in a story about two lonely young New Yorkers—was inserted into Diversionary Theatre’s current season to commemorate the recent Supreme Court decisions in favor of marriage equality. The production alternates the characters—two men, two women, one man and one woman—so choose a performance accordingly. Opens Aug. 29 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights. diversionary.org

The Tempest: Shakespeare’s oft-performed play about a wizard who inhabits a Mediterranean island. Opens Aug. 30 at Coronado Playhouse. coronadoplayhouse.com

Now Playing

Simply Sci-Fi: An evening of 10-minute plays with a sci-fi tilt, set in a café, served with coffee and dessert. Through Aug. 30 at The Big Kitchen in South Park. newplaycafe.com

Double Indemnity: In a theatrical version of the 1943 noir novel and 1944 film, an insurance man falls for a sexy dame who wants her husband dead. Through Sept. 1 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

The Good, the Bad, and the I-5: Legendary sketch-comedy gang Second City stages a show for and about San Diego—plenty of rich material here lately, eh? Through Sept. 1 at La Jolla Playhouse. lajollaplayhouse.org

Suds: The Musical: The story of a young woman looking for love in a Laundromat frames a soundtrack of ’60s hits. Through Sept. 1 at New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad. newvillagearts.org

Young Frankenstein: In the musical-theater version of the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy, the grandson of the late Dr. Frankenstein travels to Transylvania Heights to attend to property issues and ends up staying to take over the family business. Through Sept. 7 at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista. moonlightstage.com

The 39 Steps: A comedic, four-actor stage version of the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film, as if performed by Monty Python, with lots of allusions to other Hitchcock classics. Through Sept. 22 at Lamb’s Players Theatre in Coronado. lambsplayers.org

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead: Tom Stoppard’s existentialist play turns two minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet into lead characters. Through Sept. 26 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

The Merchant of Venice: Shakespeare’s play, about a man who borrows money to court a woman, gave us the terms “shylock” and “a pound of flesh.” Through Sept. 28 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Greek forest is alive with fairies, magic potions and the pursuit of love in the opener of The Old Globe’s summer Shakespeare Festival. Through Sept. 29 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

miXtape: Generation X was torn between disillusionment and hope in this cavalcade of music from the 1980s. Produced by Lamb’s Players Theatre, it runs through Sept. 29 at the Horton Grand Theatre, Downtown. lambsplayers.org

Crime Pays: A radio game show with dastardly overtones, served up with dinner, is presented by Mystery Cafe at Imperial House restaurant in Bankers Hill. mysterycafe.net

Young Frankenstein: In the musical-theater version of the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy, the grandson of the late Dr. Frankenstein travels to Transylvania Heights to attend to property issues and ends up staying to take over the family business. Opens Aug. 21 at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista. moonlightstage.com

Company: A musical organized around a series of vignettes that explore the relationships between an unmarried 35-year-old man and his 10 coupled-off friends. Presented by Cygnet Theatre, it runs though Aug. 25 at The Old Town Theatre. cygnettheatre.com

In the Heights: A musical about working-class folks trying to get ahead in a Dominican-American neighborhood in New York City. Through Aug. 25 at the Lyceum Theatre at Horton Plaza, Downtown. sdrep.org

Sideways: Two middle-aged guys, one who’s about to be married, head to Santa Barbara wine country and find trouble. Through Aug. 25 at La Jolla Playhouse. lajollaplayhouse.org

Simply Sci-Fi: An evening of 10-minute plays with a sci-fi tilt, set in a café, served with coffee and dessert. Through Aug. 30 at The Big Kitchen in South Park. newplaycafe.com

Double Indemnity: In a theatrical version of the 1943 noir novel and 1944 film, an insurance man falls for a sexy dame who wants her husband dead. Through Sept. 1 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

The Good, the Bad, and the I-5: Legendary sketch-comedy gang Second City stages a show for and about San Diego—plenty of rich material here lately, eh? Through Sept. 1 at La Jolla Playhouse. lajollaplayhouse.org

Suds: The Musical: The story of a young woman looking for love in a Laundromat frames a soundtrack of ’60s hits. Through Sept. 1 at New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad. newvillagearts.org

The 39 Steps: A comedic, four-actor stage version of the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film, as if performed by Monty Python, with lots of allusions to other Hitchcock classics. Through Sept. 22 at Lamb’s Players Theatre in Coronado. lambsplayers.org

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead: Tom Stoppard’s existentialist play turns two minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet into lead characters. Through Sept. 26 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

The Merchant of Venice: Shakespeare’s play, about a man who borrows money to court a woman, gave us the terms “shylock” and “a pound of flesh.” Through Sept. 28 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Greek forest is alive with fairies, magic potions and the pursuit of love in the opener of The Old Globe’s summer Shakespeare Festival. Through Sept. 29 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

miXtape: Generation X was torn between disillusionment and hope in this cavalcade of music from the 1980s. Produced by Lamb’s Players Theatre, it runs through Sept. 29 at the Horton Grand Theatre, Downtown. lambsplayers.org

Crime Pays: A radio game show with dastardly overtones, served up with dinner, is presented by Mystery Cafe at Imperial House restaurant in Bankers Hill. mysterycafe.net

Miss Kitty’s Wild West Revue: A saucy, raunchy variety show set in an old-West saloon, presented by an LGBT-centric theater. Runs Aug. 15 through 18 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights. diversionary.org

Side by Side by Sondheim: This revue of songs by the legendary Stephen Sondheim serves as a benefit for Cygnet Theatre. Runs Aug. 19 and 20 at The Old Town Theatre. cygnettheatre.com

Simply Sci-Fi: An evening of 10-minute plays with a sci-fi tilt, set in a café, served with coffee and dessert. Opens Aug. 15 at The Big Kitchen in South Park.
newplaycafe.com

Thoroughly Modern MillieA Kansas girl flees to New York City in the 1920s and foils an export-slavery ring. Presented by Pickwick Players, it runs through Aug. 17 at C3 Performing Arts Center in Grantville. pickwickplayers.net

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The MusicalIt’s Shakespeare’s classic comedy in the forest, but with pop music from the 1960s. Presented by Intrepid Shakespeare Company, it runs through Aug. 18 at San Dieguito Academy Performing Arts Centre in Encinitas. intrepidshakespeare.com

You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!The nationally touring stage version of a 2010 book by comedians Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn about their real-life marriage and family. Through Aug. 18 at the Lyceum Theatre at Horton Plaza, Downtown. lyceumevents.org

CompanyA musical organized around a series of vignettes that explore the relationships between an unmarried 35-year-old man and his 10 coupled-off friends.Presented by Cygnet Theatre, it runs though Aug. 25 at The Old Town Theatre. cygnettheatre.com

In the HeightsA musical about working-class folks trying to get ahead in a Dominican-American neighborhood in New York City. Through Aug. 25 at the Lyceum Theatre at Horton Plaza, Downtown. sdrep.org

SidewaysTwo middle-aged guys, one who’s about to be married, head to Santa Barbara wine country and find trouble. Through Aug. 25 at La Jolla Playhouse. lajollaplayhouse.org

Double IndemnityIn a theatrical version of the 1943 noir novel and 1944 film, an insurance man falls for a sexy dame who wants her husband dead. Through Sept. 1 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

The Good, the Bad, and the I-5Legendary sketch-comedy gang Second City stages a show for and about San Diego—plenty of rich material here lately, eh? Through Sept. 1 at La Jolla Playhouse. lajollaplayhouse.org

Suds: The MusicalThe story of a young woman looking for love in a Laundromat frames a soundtrack of ’60s hits. Through Sept. 1 at New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad. newvillagearts.org

The 39 StepsA comedic, four-actor stage version of the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film, as if performed by Monty Python, with lots of allusions to other Hitchcock classics. Through Sept. 22 at Lamb’s Players Theatre in Coronado. lambsplayers.org

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are DeadTom Stoppard’s existentialist play turns two minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet into lead characters. Through Sept. 26 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

The Merchant of VeniceShakespeare’s play,about a man who borrows money to court a woman,gave us the terms “shylock” and “a pound of flesh.” Through Sept. 28 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

A Midsummer Night’s DreamA Greek forest is alive with fairies, magic potions and the pursuit of love in the opener of The Old Globe’s summer Shakespeare Festival. Through Sept. 29 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

miXtape Generation X was torn between disillusionment and hope in this cavalcade of music from the 1980s. Produced by Lamb’s Players Theatre, it runs through Sept. 29 at the Horton Grand Theatre, Downtown. lambsplayers.org

Crime Pays A radio game show with dastardly overtones, served up with dinner, is presented by Mystery Cafe at Imperial House restaurant in Bankers Hill. mysterycafe.net

The 39 Steps: A comedic, four-actor stage version of the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film, as if performed by Monty Python, with lots of allusions to other Hitchcock classics. Opens Aug. 9 at Lamb’s Players Theatre in Coronado. lambsplayers.org

Macbeth & The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Local teens perform one-hour versions of the two Shakespeare plays. Happens on Monday, Aug. 12, at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

The Spaceman of Ocean Beach: A staged reading of a play by Rick Bollinger about an eccentric character, Clint Cary, who made Ocean Beach his home from the 1960s until his death in 1993. Runs Aug. 9 and 10 at the Ocean Beach Playhouse. facebook.com/spacemanofoceanbeach

Thoroughly Modern Millie: A Kansas girl flees to New York City in the 1920s and foils an export-slavery ring. Presented by Pickwick Players, it runs Aug. 9 through 17 at C3 Performing Arts Center in Grantville. pickwickplayers.net

It’s Just Sex: Three couples get together for some drinks, and, wouldn’t you know it, the inevitable spouse swapping ensues. Through Aug. 10 at OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista. onstageplayhouse.org

The Wizard of Oz: A Kansas girl’s blunt-force head trauma sends her to a colorful land where men are made of straw and tin, lions dance and monkeys fly. Through Aug. 10 at Moonlight Amphitheatre in Visa. moonlightstage.com

Freedom of Speech: Eliza Jane Schneider plays 34 characters in her own one-woman show, which chronicles her travels around the United States in an old ambulance. Presented by Moxie Theatre, it runs through Aug. 11 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights. moxietheatre.com

The Rainmaker: A conman arrives at a Depression-era ranch where the cattle are dying and the farmer’s daughter’s hopes of finding a husband are fading. Through Aug. 11 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Musical: It’s Shakespeare’s classic comedy in the forest, but with pop music from the 1960s. Presented by Intrepid Shakespeare Company, it runs through Aug. 18 at San Dieguito Academy Performing Arts Centre in Encinitas. intrepidshakespeare.com

You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!: The nationally touring stage version of a 2010 book by comedians Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn about their real-life marriage and family. Through Aug. 18 at the Lyceum Theatre at Horton Plaza, Downtown. lyceumevents.org

Company: A musical organized around a series of vignettes that explore the relationships between an unmarried 35-year-old man and his 10 coupled-off friends. Presented by Cygnet Theatre, it runs though Aug. 25 at The Old Town Theatre. cygnettheatre.com

In the Heights: A musical about working-class folks trying to get ahead in a Dominican-American neighborhood in New York City. Through Aug. 25 at the Lyceum Theatre at Horton Plaza, Downtown. sdrep.org

Sideways: Two middle-aged guys, one who’s about to be married, head to Santa Barbara wine country and find trouble. Through Aug. 25 at La Jolla Playhouse. lajollaplayhouse.org

Double Indemnity: In a theatrical version of the 1943 noir novel and 1944 film, an insurance man falls for a sexy dame who wants her husband dead. Through Sept. 1 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

The Good, the Bad, and the I-5: Legendary sketch-comedy gang Second City stages a show for and about San Diego—plenty of rich material here lately, eh? Through Sept. 1 at La Jolla Playhouse. lajollaplayhouse.org

Suds: The Musical: The story of a young woman looking for love in a Laundromat frames a soundtrack of ’60s hits. Through Sept. 1 at New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad. newvillagearts.org

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead: Tom Stoppard’s existentialist play turns two minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet into lead characters. Through Sept. 26 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

The Merchant of Venice: Shakespeare’s play, about a man who borrows money to court a woman, gave us the terms “shylock” and “a pound of flesh.” Through Sept. 28 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Greek forest is alive with fairies, magic potions and the pursuit of love in the opener of The Old Globe’s summer Shakespeare Festival. Through Sept. 29 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org

miXtape: Generation X was torn between disillusionment and hope in this cavalcade of music from the 1980s. Produced by Lamb’s Players Theatre, it runs through Sept. 29 at the Horton Grand Theatre, Downtown. lambsplayers.org

Crime Pays: A radio game show with dastardly overtones, served up with dinner, is presented by Mystery Cafe at Imperial House restaurant in Bankers Hill. mysterycafe.net




 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
Close
Close