Washington Evening Journal

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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 21, 2018

‘It’s pronounced Fronkensteen’

Washington Community Theater presents “Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein”
Jun 22, 2018
Photo by: Gretchen Teske Dr. Frankenstein, played by Vern Miller; Inga, played by Zoe Wagner; Igor, played by Logan Hanson; and Frau Blucher, played by Jessica Micheltree all stand over the monster, played by Dave Friese.

By Gretchen Teske, THE JOURNAL


Rain is in the forecast for this weekend, but the Washington Community Theater is presenting an opportunity to stay indoors and enjoy a fun show, too. “Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein” is running all weekend and next with a cast of character, creatures and everything in between.

The show is a direct spinoff of the 1974 cult-classic starring Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle. “Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein” tells the story of Frederick Frankenstein, a scientist who has just discovered he has inherited his grandfather’s estate in Transylvania. Once he arrives, he meets his crew of trusty comrades and together they set out to bring his grandfather’s inventions back to life. Literally.

Auditions began in April and for the past two months the cast of 23 has worked tirelessly to bring the show to life. Co-director Chris Hanson said this show has been on his mind for over a year and was excited to finally bring it to the stage in Washington.

“I saw it in Des Moines at the Des Moines Community Play House and just was like, ‘gotta do it,” he said. Hanson is proud of the cast he has assembled, believing they are matching the slapstick comedy of the film precisely. “People who’ve seen the movie, they really have to come to it because it hits all the good jokes,” he said. “We just hope people will come; we’ve got a great cast.”

The cast and crew have worked together to make the show a success, with everyone pitching in to help with set building, costumes and even makeup. The show continues to the music of a 12-person live orchestra directed by Mark Bressler.

Co-director Jenny Wagner has directed over 50 shows with six of them being with the Washington Community Theater. When she was originally considering directing, she wanted to produce Mary Poppins. Hanson talked her out of it, but she has no regrets on the decision.

“Even though Mary Poppins was a new-to-Broadway show, we wanted to bring new shows to this theater,” she said. Wagner says coming out to see the show is not only a chance for a new experience but an escape from reality. “Any excuse you can (use to) get away from social media and pure negativity, this would be two-and-a-half hours of pure bliss,” she said.

The show is rated PG-13 for language and adult humor. “Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein” runs June 22-23 and 29-30 at 7:30 p.m. with 2:30 p.m. matinees on June 24 and July 1 at the Community Center. Tickets can be purchased at the box office by calling 319-653-5175 or online at www.wctheater.com

Editors note: In a previous article, the title of the production was incorrectly referenced.

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