DeLand — “It’s alive!”
Oh yes — the monster talks and moves, has thoughts and emotions — and suffers. He is (like all of us) painfully alive. But most importantly, the Athens Theatre’s production of Young Frankenstein (the story of that monster and his creator) is also most decidedly “alive.”
Written by comedic genius Mel Brooks, this parody of the Halloween season’s scary stories sparkles with rapid-fire wit and ghoulish goofiness, poking endless fun at over-the-top romantic fantasies of medieval castles, combined with madcap disasters of science gone electrifyingly awry.
Give “new life” to your spooky season with this screamingly delightful romp through Transylvania, headed by the incredibly talented director/choreographer extraordinaire Mayme Paul, who has used her extensive directing and Broadway-performing experience to expertly re-create the monstrously funny 1974 cult classic film — but with music — and dancing!
Starring as Frankenstein — pronounced “Fronkensteen” — is Alexander LaPlante, whose wide and impressive performance résumé has culminated in this long-overdue Athens debut.
Scuttling along behind the mad scientist is his ever-faithful shadow and servant Igor — pronounced “Eyegor,” played by Ryan Blogg, who recently had 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee audiences at the Athens collapsing in stitches.
And you can’t have a Mary Shelley-like story without a reanimated corpse, so Joshua Houvouras (who last wowed Athens crowds in The Wedding Singer) spook-takularly stomps onto stage as the Monster — pronounced “Monster.”
Young Frankenstein’s leading ladies also bring down the house. Sheradin Jansen (whom Athens Theatregoers fell in love with as Evelyn Nesbit in Ragtime) plays Frankenstein’s fiancée Elizabeth, who is just a little extra.
Samantha O’Donnell (an impressively experienced new Athens actor) perfectly portrays the overly eager, willing, and yodeling lab assistant Inga.
They are hilariously complemented by Christie Young (who most recently had audiences roaring while she saved rock ’n’ roll in Rock of Ages) as the staunch and scheming housekeeper, Frau Blücher.
Jordan Gogo (who last impressed the full houses of Mamma Mia!) appears as the bumbling inspector Hans Kemp, along with an appropriately rollicking and riotous, bloodthirsty ensemble.
You won’t want to miss this supernatural and super-silly Halloweeney adventure, so don’t delay reserving seats in your favorite area for another day.
This play is not recommended for audiences under age 14.
Young Frankenstein opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 16, at the historic Athens Theatre, 124 N. Florida Ave. in Downtown DeLand. Performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday performances are at 2:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 7, will feature a special ASL/English-interpreted performance.
Tickets cost $32 for preferred reserved seating (rows A-F, orchestra, and CC-DD center balcony); $27 for adults; $25 for senior citizens; $12 for students/children; and $23 per person for groups of eight or more. A $4-per-ticket processing charge will be added to each purchase.
Tickets and information are available online at the Athens Theatre website (www.AthensDeLand.com), or by calling the box office at 386-736-1500. Box-office hours are 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, and 1 1/2 hours before live performances.