MUST SEEREVIEWSSally Jo OsborneTheatre Reviews

“Young Frankenstein”

Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan.

Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks.

Based on the story and screenplay by Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks.

“Puttin On The Ritz” by Irving Berlin.

Director- Steve Malone.

Co-Director and Choreographer-Cameron Turner.

This Monstrous Mash is a Smash!

The set is inventive and effective, the wigs are a plenty and the tap shoes are tapping with this large cast of Transylvanian characters. What a magnificent effort by all to take on this show and just in time for Halloween.

The townspeople of Transylvania are attending the funeral of Dr. Frankenstein—relief at last. Lead by Officer Kemp (Tony Calzaretta) let the celebration begin.

Back in NYC, a young doctor receives a telegram; “It’s Frohnk-en-steen not Frankenstein,” he says when informed about his grandfather’s passing. Young Frederick (Nick Miller), must head to Transylvania to settle the estate and leave his finicky, yet fantastic fiancé Elizabeth (Christie Burgess-Martino) behind–which may not be such a bad thing anyway.  Teaching about “The Brain” is Frederick’s passion. Arriving at the estate, Dr. Frederick meets the incredibly energetic and entertaining hunchback, Igor–(Parker Guidry). His name is pronounced Eye-Gor not as you would think it would sound!  Igor wants Frederick to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and continue in the family business. “Together Again for the First Time” and to help him along he has hired a personal assistant Inga (Sarah Larson) who yodels her way to his heart. All kinds of adventure begins with rollicking hayrides and meeting mysterious characters like the kind of creepy, Frau Blucher (Gina Guarino) who every time her name is mentioned we hear wild horses neighing from afar. What? Very funny stuff! Frederick is welcomed to the castle and decides to take a nap and is awoken by a dream of his grandfather and other relatives convincing him to “Join the Family Business”.  It took little convincing for Frederick to re-create life and so they decide to dig up a corpse and see what can be done.

The villagers are concerned because they thought they were finally rid of the monster mania. Not so fast, because soon the creature “Monster” (Edward MacLennan) comes to life and goes for a little stroll throughout the town scaring up a storm of fury and rage.  All kinds of monkey business takes place between Inga and Frederick and “Surprise” Elizabeth, Frederick’s fiancé shows up out of the blue. A particularly funny scene was with a blind hermit (Steve Malone) and the Monster “Please Send Me Someone”. Talk about having a bad day, the Monster briskly exits to be greeted by Frederick who sings to him “Man about Town” and wins over the Monster’s heart. Dressed as dapper dancer the Monster now pays full attention and brings the house down with “Puttin on the Ritz”. The fiancé falls for the very large creature and discovers a deep connection “Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life”. All kinds of chaos takes place, intelligence transfer of brains, missing person reports, anger, protest, town hangings-now I can’t give it all away can I? Oh, did I mention that Count Dracula makes an appearance?

Does this sound crazy, does this sound mad? Well quite frankly, it is! Yes, there is smut, but it is pretty family friendly smut! Go see it!

I want more people to discover this hidden gem in Lake Forest—there is more to Lake Forest Theatre than Citadel (which is awesome also), the quality and magic of the two shows that I have seen here has been out of this world! Bring it on Steve Malone!

Highly Recommended.

Reviewed by Sally Jo Osborne 10/9/2016.

Performances run through October 30th.  Running time is approximately two hours and twenty minutes with one intermission.

Performances take place at the newly renovated John & Nancy Hughes Theatre at the Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest, IL.  Single tickets are $49, call 847-604-4975, or visit

All ticket buyers receive 25% off in the Lake Forest Theatre Gift Shop opening November 15, 2016 located at 638 N. Bank Lane in downtown Lake Forest. Just in time for the holidays!