Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre presents ‘Young Frankenstein’

Award-winning organization celebrates its 62nd annual production and 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s iconic novel, ‘Frankenstein’

The Times

Bob Quintana of Yardley as Frederick Frankenstein, Michael Powell of Hatboro as Inspector Kemp, Jack Sariago of Jenkintown as Igor, and Eva Kastner-Puschl of Yardley as Inga. Source: Jess Graves Photography

Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre will present its 62nd annual production, Young Frankenstein, on April 6, 7, 8, 12 and 14 at Neshaminy High School’s Theodore Kloos Auditorium, 2001 Old Lincoln Highway in Langhorne. Friday performances are at 8 p.m., Saturday performances at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. The production will be directed and choreographed by Barrymore Award-nominated director/choreographer Stephen Casey.

Young Frankenstein, officially titled The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein, is Brooks’ adaptation of his legendary film comedy into a stage musical with book by Brooks and Thomas Meehan and music and lyrics by Brooks. The 1974 film written by Brooks and Gene Wilder and directed by Brooks is a parody of the horror film genre, particularly the 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and its 1939 sequel Son of Frankenstein. January 2018 marked the 200th anniversary of the first publication of Shelley’s iconic novel.

The musical premiered on Broadway in 2007 starring Fred Applegate, Roger Bart, Christopher Fitzgerald, Sutton Foster, Shuler Hensley, Andrea Martin and Megan Mullally. The production was directed by Susan Stroman and was nominated for eight Tony Awards. The show won the 2008 Outer Critics Award for Best Musical. A revival production, also directed by Stroman, is currently running on London’s West End to rave reviews.

Following the same plot as the hit film, the grandson of the infamous Victor von Frankenstein, Frederick Frankenstein (he pronounces as “Fronk-en-steen”) inherits his family’s estate in Transylvania. Leaving his position as a top New York City doctor and his fiance Elizabeth, Frederick travels to Transylvania and with the help of a hunchbacked sidekick, Igor, a leggy lab assistant, Inga, and the mysterious Frau Blucher, he discovers the secret entrance to his grandfather’s laboratory. Victor returns from the dead to convince Frederick to carry on the family experiments, and Frederick creates a monster of his own, to the dismay of the Transylvania villagers, led by Inspector Kemp. Eventually, of course, the monster escapes and hilarity abounds.

Young Frankenstein offers a frenetic score with classic tap dance to “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” comical duets like “Please Don’t Touch Me” and “Together Again,” and big ensemble production numbers such as “Join the Family Business” and “Transylvania Mania.”

The Neshaminy Valley production includes a cast of more than 30 performers from throughout the Delaware Valley region and beyond.

Bob Quintana of Yardley stars as Frederick with Jack Sariego of Jenkintown as Igor, Barry Dratch of Newtown as The Monster, Cara Nardone of Exton as Elizabeth, Drew Pollack of Warminster as Frau Blucher, Eva Kastner-Puschl of Yardley as Inga, Michael Powell of Hatboro as Inspector Kemp, Joe Harris of Trevose as Victor von Frankenstein and R. James Hunt of Trenton as The Hermit. An ensemble portrays a range of other outrageous characters and sings and dances through numerous production numbers.

The production is being directed and choreographed by Stephen Casey, who has received three nominations from Philadelphia’s Barrymore Awards and has directed or choreographed productions for Bristol Riverside Theatre, including the current production of The Producers, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Bucks County Playhouse, Montgomery Theatre and Arizona Broadway Theater, as well as ten prior productions with Neshaminy Valley including Anything Goes, Oklahoma, Curtain and Guys and Dolls. Faye Meyer is music director.

All the participants on stage and behind the scenes are volunteers and include individuals who have performed professionally along with those who have their first performance experience with the Music Theatre.

Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre was founded in 1956 and has been producing a musical each year since. The mission of the nonprofit theater group is to raise funds through these productions and award scholarships to graduating seniors of the Neshaminy School District who plan to continue their studies in the fine or performing arts in college. To date, the organization has awarded more than $146,000 in scholarships.

Tickets for Young Frankenstein are $20 general admission, $18 for seniors and $10 for youth 18 years and under when purchased in advance and an additional $2 when purchased at the door. Neshaminy Valley continues its popular flex-ticket policy: any ticket purchased is good for any seat for any show date and time, so that patrons can purchase a ticket now and decide later which performance to attend. A group rate is also available for groups of 15 or more.

For more information, visit nvmt.org, email nvmt@verizon.net or call 267–733–8876.