A musical comedy coming to South Tahoe High School this month will give new life to an old Mel Brooks film in the live adaptation of “Young Frankenstein.”
About 55 students were cast in the production, which features intricate dance routines and a number of kooky characters and songs.
“(Audiences) can expect to enjoy themselves and have a lot of laughs,” said Nannette Niven, head of the high school’s drama department.
The production follows the story of Dr. Frederick Von Frankenstein — pronounced “Fronkensteen” by the doctor — who meets a number of nutty characters and attempts to finish his grandfather’s reanimation experiments.
Niven said she picked the play to try something new and fun.
“I wanted something that would really spark the interest of the students,” Niven said.
Apparently it did. About 200 people auditioned for the show, Niven said. Many of them were freshman or had never auditioned for a play before, while others — such as senior Emery Mulligan — were no strangers to the drama department.
“There’s a good mix of kids,” she said.
Mulligan won the lead role of Dr. Frankenstein in the play and said he was ecstatic to get the part. He’s seen the movie about a dozen times.
“I love the movie so much,” the 17-year-old said, “and I idolize (actor) Gene Wilder. So this is the coolest thing.”
High school junior Kori Zwijacz, 16, will play the role of Inga, the doctor’s lab assistant. She has been performing in plays since she was a freshman, and said she was very comfortable with her part.
“I think I’m very much like Inga, so it came very natural,” she said. “I’m kind of ditzy and blonde, so it just kind of fit.”
Zwijacz said it’s been interesting watching the play progress through rehearsals because the musical is nontraditional. But the fact that it’s based on a classic film will make it appealing to a broad audience.
Niven seemed to agree, adding that many can enjoy the production’s “ridiculous” slapstick humor. The music, provided by a 15-person orchestra, adds to that, she said.
Audiences can watch Young Frankenstein at the high school’s TADA Theater. The show, which contains mature themes and humor, is recommended for audiences ages 13 and older.