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MCT Proposal - Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein, by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan

Directed by Ruth Mandsager


Play Synopsis

Synopsis from MTI: “From the creators of the record-breaking Broadway sensation, The Producers, comes this monster new musical comedy. The comedy genius, Mel Brooks, adapts his legendarily funny film into a brilliant stage creation – Young Frankenstein!


Grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced "Fronk-en-steen") inherits his family's estate in Transylvania. With the help of a hunchbacked sidekick, Igor (pronounced "Eye-gore"), and a leggy lab assistant, Inga, Frederick finds himself in the mad scientist shoes of his ancestors. "It's alive!" he exclaims as he brings to life a creature to rival his grandfather's. Eventually, of course, the monster escapes and hilarity continuously abounds.


Every bit as relevant to audience members who will remember the original as it will be to newcomers, Young Frankenstein has all the of panache of the screen sensation with a little extra theatrical flair added. It will surely be the perfect opportunity for a production company to showcase an array of talents. With such memorable tunes as "The Transylvania Mania," "He Vas My Boyfriend" and "Puttin' on the Ritz," Young Frankenstein is scientifically proven, monstrously good entertainment.”


Vision Statement

The movie Young Frankenstein is admittedly a comedic genius that speaks to multiple generations of fans. Brookes' spoof of the Frankenstein movies is nothing less than genius! His musical adaptation of the film is no different. He not only stays true to the movie script, reciting the same jokes and "gags" but has added music that spoofs several genres of musical and choreographic styles. As a director I really think it's time for me to tackle a comedic musical as I believe comedy is one of the hardest styles to conquer. The reward for "finding the funny" in each scene brings instant gratification to both audiences and actors. My goal is directing YF is to stay as true to the movie script as possible using projections of familiar film images/ backdrops, sound effects, costumes, and hair and makeup designs that mirror those of the movie. Mel Brookes' comedic style, though full of sexual innuendo, relies mostly on witty word play and comedic sight gags that are funny to most age groups. Although at first glance the set could be a huge castle with many set decorations and props, I believe (as I have done with past shows) in a less is more approach and that YF can be done very well with the budget currently set forth by the Majestic.


Comedy is tricky and challenging, but Mel Brookes’ comedy is timeless. It’s full of innuendo, but it’s more subtle than, say, Full Monty, and it’s perfect for a Halloween-time show. People love to laugh, and this will be a great way for an audience to have a fun experience. Is it fluffy? Yes. But sometimes people need a fluffy spoof.


The cast could be as small as 18-20 or expanded to the Majestic's limit of no more than 35. The choreography can be as simple or complex with potential for many different styles including a tap number while "Puttin' On The Ritz". All lead characters with the exception of 2-3 may be cast as any gender and the ensemble is given many opportunities for solo moments.


This show hasn’t been done around here for a very long time, so it’s time to remount it, especially because there’s a new version as of 2016 – making it a much better, much more streamlined, much less dated show. There is some specific British humor that might have to be tweaked. Some of the more problematic jokes have been struck. But overall, it’s a show that people will come to see, enjoy, and tell their friends about.


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