Young Frankenstein Preview

Spooky monster musical conjures comic characters

By VERDA MACKAY-Correspondent for the Chico Enterprise-Record (10/17/13)
CHICO — The spirit of Halloween will be welcomed early at Chico Theater Company with its opening of the spooky musical comedy, “Young Frankenstein,” on Oct. 19 and running through Nov. 10.

“‘Young Frankenstein,’ is not Shakespeare, folks,” declared director and choreographer Joey Mahoney. “This is an all out slapstick funny comedy. Most people know the movie, ‘Frankenstein,’ starring Gene Wilder and directed by Mel Brooks with all the ridiculous characters. We’ve got all those funny special effects and those goofy lines that people know and want to hear. It’s a cult film, and people watch that kind of movie over and over.”

“Young Frankenstein” is based on that 1974 comedy film. It is a parody of the classical horror film genre adapted from Mary Shelley’s 1931 book, “Frankenstein,” and a 1939 sequel, “Son of Frankenstein.” The award-winning smash hit “Young Frankenstein opened on Broadway in 2001.

“Renee and Brent Boyd are excellent in set design and building special effects of blood and explosions,” Mahoney said. “Beau Scarbrough works with them, and Renee is assistant director. Our costumes are by Jacqui Cooley.

“There are many dance numbers,” she said. “It’s pretty wild stuff. We have a five-piece live band under the direction of Carol Lane.”

“Young Frankenstein” is set in the town of Transylvania Heights in the year 1934. Villagers celebrate the death of the mad scientist, Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Jim Williams). Inspector Kemp (Chris Scott) ruin their happiness with news of Victor’s grandson, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Conan Duch), who is a physician lecturer at an American medical school.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (left) is played by Conan Duch, and Inga is portrayed by Roxanne Barrett in “The Young Frankenstein.”(Contributed photo)

When Frederick learns he has inherited his grandfather’s castle in Transylvania, he must go there to settle legal issues. He leaves behind his eccentric actress fiancée, Elizabeth Benning (Judi Souza).

During his visit at the castle Frederick encounters several weird characters. The hunchback servant, Igor (Jeff Dickenson) has hired a lab assistant, Inga (Roxanne Barrett). Housekeeper Frau Blucher (Joey Mahoney) who plays a mysterious violin, and a blind Hermit (Rick Anderson).

Jeff Dickenson portrays, Igor in “The Young Frankenstein.”(Contributed photo)

Frederick becomes intrigued about his grandfather’s work and decides to experiment in re-animating the dead. This leads to his creation of a Monster (Don Eggert), and troubles of all kinds take place.

The large ensemble includes JD Amaral as Ziggy and Gale Collins as Mordacai. Eight others portray multiple roles and perform songs and dance numbers.

“I’m pleased to have such a wacky cast,” Mahoney said, ” but it’s not just a show about the principals. It’s fun for the ensemble for they’re on stage a lot and play different characters. They’re singing and dancing a lot with costume changes.

“The Mel Brooks adult content has not changed with its sexual innuendoes still there. We haven’t changed any of the script. I would suggest the play is for age 15 and older.”

“Young Frankenstein” promises to set the tone for a scary, fun Halloween.

For ticket information and reservations call the CTC box office 894-3282 or visit

When/Where7:30 p.m. Chico Theater Company, 166 Eaton Road Suite F. Oct. 19 through Nov. 10.

Tickets: $20-$12