‘Young Frankenstein’ comes to life on stage

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Northwood Theatre Arts presented audiences with the comedic tale of “Young Frankenstein” from Feb. 13-16, telling the story of a misunderstood and outcast professor who returns to his roots.

Based on the 1974 comedy film of the same name, the play follows Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (senior Ian Gibson), grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, to Transylvania after he inherited his grandfather’s castle. Leaving what seems like a failed relationship with his fiancé Elizabeth Lavenza (senior Sara Shaygan), Dr. Frankenstein meets the hunchback Igor (junior Matthew Cheung), who hires the beautiful Inga (senior Caroline Candy) to be his assistant as he follows his grandfather’s footsteps. Through accidentally creating a monster (senior Youssef Hegab) and evading with angry villagers, Dr. Frankenstein discovers the joy in following his passion and embraces his heritage.

Ending the show with the song “Finale Ultimo,” Dr. Frankenstein, along with Frau Blücher (senior Joy Lee) and Inspector Kemp (junior Chris Kassir), learn that despite his appearance, the monster is capable of love and kindness.

“Young Frankenstein had me and my friends chuckling constantly at the underlying jokes and clever puns,” junior Joanna Zhang said. “I was also extremely impressed by the quality of the acting, as there were so many characters that just demanded your attention through their impressive stage presence.”

Hours of hard work went into the musical aspect of the play, and in light of all these efforts, musical members rejoiced in the results.

Aside from what was seen on stage, just as much went into the technical aspect and rehearsals backstage. With over a total of 161 students involved in the cast, crew and pit, the production was almost entirely student-run. From the sound effects to the makeup, each component was intricately crafted to add to the overall experience.

“It’s a lot of practice and rerunning things until we get everything on the dot including all the running crew, lighting, sound and stage management,” stage manager junior Emily Kim said. “We really enjoy the people we work with because we’re basically a family and it makes collaborating easier and more efficient.”

Both rehearsals and construction of sets (such as the spinning library and huge stone walls) began in late November to make the show possible.

“My favorite moment would have to be when we finished an entire run for the first time, and everyone looked so tired, but also happy all at once,” Gibson said. “That was the first time I saw everyone on the same page, and our show only blossomed from there.”

Despite the fictional plot and setting, many audience members were able to appreciate the very real message of the play.

“This musical in particular was truly heartwarming and the idea that everyone is capable of love truly came across in the best way possible,” junior Jeneen Elbershawi said.

Northwood Theatre Art’s spring production will be “Our Town,” coming soon this April.