The Placer Performance Calendar


Great Local Shows - Theatrical Reviews

Title Young Frankenstein
Organization Rocklin Community Theatre
Date(s) of show April 12-28, 2013
Reviewer Dick Frantzreb
Review After the first show-stopping number (the first of many), I found myself thinking, “This show is too big for this little theater; too big for Rocklin. It should be on a big stage and draw hundreds and hundreds of people.” Anyone who liked Mel Brooks’ movie by the same name is almost sure to like Rocklin Community Theatre's send-up of the musical, "Young Frankenstein." The musical numbers are memorable, even if their tunes are not, and productions like “There Is Nothing Like the Brain” or “Join the Family Business” or “Transylvania Mania” are just some of the big, flashy numbers. The lyrics and dialog borrow a lot from the movie (like the song, “He Vas My Boyfriend”), but there is so much additional wit, I found myself straining so that I wouldn’t miss a line. That’s not to say the there was anything wrong with the audio. The actors/singers were well miked, and besides that, nearly all had big, listenable voices. And then there was the dancing. The whole show seemed tightly choreographed, and the dancing was creative and added greatly to the show’s energy. And much of the dancing (including a bit of tap dancing) was carried off by the “chorus” of 8 women and two men, who, like all those in the key roles were complete entertainers. (They even sang pretty good 4-part harmony at one point.) And all the music was supported by a 12-piece live orchestra that played brilliantly throughout. How could they afford that?

Well, one way is that there was not much of a set to speak of. But that was OK. There were some very effective set pieces, good costumes, and wonderfully creative staging ideas. But what transported the show to professional quality was the comic acting that delivered strongly drawn characters, starting with Martin Lehman as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, right down the cast list. I was especially impressed with Mike Mechanick as Igor, Jenna Cook as Inga, and Jessica Larrick as Elizabeth -- and Rob Hayes was perfect as The Monster. I thought they all played their parts to perfection – not too silly – just manic enough. And so much of the credit for the quality of this show lies with Director, Ryan Adame. I’ve seen him as an actor 8 or 10 times in the last few years, and this is the third time I’ve seen him direct – and his inspired work is delivering one great show after another.

Parents need to be warned that this is a rather bawdy show, with a strong dose of adult humor – definitely PG-13 – and I would be uncomfortable seeing it with even older teenagers. But the fact remains that this is high-quality entertainment from talented, experienced people. Chalk up another winner for Rocklin Community Theatre.

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