The story of “Frankenstein” is one that is familiar to many, but next week at the Marian Gallaway Theatre, the dark and twisted tale will be told in a new, and more entertaining, light.
The University of Alabama Theatre and Dance are performing “Young Frankenstein,” a smash Broadway musical based on the popular film of the same name, Tuesday through Sunday. Stacy Alley, assistant professor of musical theatre and dance, is the director and choreographer of the show. Alley explained that both fans of the movie and those new to the story will find something to enjoy in this performance.
“It’s going to appeal to different generations for different reasons,” Alley said. “People who know and love the movie hopefully are going to be satisfied with hearing the jokes and gags they are familiar with. Also, it’s a musical and it’s something new.”
“Young Frankenstein,” originally written by Mel Brooks as a parody film of Mary Shelley’s book and the classic horror film genre, follows the story of Frederick Frankenstein, grandson to Victor von Frankenstein, who was infamously known for creating monsters. When Frederick finds out Victor has passed away, he inherits his estate and embarks on a wild journey.
Alley said while the film is enjoyable and beloved, she tried to put her own spin on the story.
“In tackling this monster of a show (see what I did there?), I did not try to replicate the genius of Mel Brooks’ 1974 movie parody of Mary Shelley’s novel,” Alley writes in the musical’s program. “What I did however, along with an extremely tiresome and talented cast and crew, was try my best to pay homage to both the original Broadway production and the iconic film itself.”
The cast has been rehearsing for around eight weeks, and the creative team has been working alongside them.
“The material is funny, and we’re always finding ways to bring that to life in our own way,” Alley said. “The cast have all worked really hard, and the design team collaborating with them. We’ve been on board to have a great production since the very beginning.”
Daniel Hulsizer, a junior majoring in musical theatre, plays the iconic character of Igor in the show.
“He is the most honest and kind and devoted person,” Hulsizer said of his character. “I love working with his hump. It’s a challenging and (intriguing process.”)
While the classic film is well known for its hilarity and charm, this stage production promises to stay true to the overall feeling of the story and uphold the experience of live theatre at the same time.
“I feel like it’s a piece of culture that we almost sometimes forget- we forget the aspect of theatre,” Hulsizer said. “When you think of horror films you think of gory, but this is Mel Brooks, a true satirical mastermind.”
This production is a great way to experience that culture of theatre, and Hulsizer said everyone will find something to enjoy.
“It’s great for people our age because the content is hilarious,” Hulsizer said. “It’s something everyone can enjoy.”
The show will run at the Marian Gallaway Theatre from Tuesday, Nov. 17 to Friday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m., and then on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office or by visiting theatre.ua.edu.