The Geneva Theatre Guild presents their summer musical at The Smith Opera House August 3rd through 6th. It’s a stage adaptation of a much loved film. Mel Brooks adapted his 1974 comedy Young Frankenstein in 2007 and Steve DuPrey has wanted to direct it ever since.
“I’ve been wanting to do this show ever since it came out. I grew up with the movie and if you’d like to recite it with me right now, I can do that. But, beyond that, I think it’s the finest thing Mel Brooks ever did.”
He’s not alone. Young Frankenstein consistently tops lists of all-time greatest comedies and it’s filled with quotable scenes and characters. That can pose a problem. Pat Fegley is cast as The Creature.
“We’ve kind of had to walk this line of paying homage to the original without creating an imitation of the original. So, you definitely have to hit the comedic beats that were in the movie, but we want to put our own spin on it and not just be doing an impression of Peter Boyle or Cloris Leachman. And, I think we’ve struck a pretty good balance with that.”
DuPrey also points out that for audiences who are only familiar with the film, the stage adaptation offers something new.
“There’s music and there’s dance that just doesn’t exist in the movie and the music is wonderful. I was surprised that Mel Brooks had this talent as well.”
And, of course, it’s funny, which has also posed a challenge for the cast. Larry Anne Evans plays Frau Blucher.
“This is also, I have to say, the only show I have ever worked on where I can’t contain my laughter off to the side of the rehearsal space. If I’m watching Pat and he’s in total Creature form and he’s trying to get those butterflies when he hears that music, you know he’s trying to get those notes right out of the air, I can’t stop the laughter. At The Smith I’m going to have to cover my mouth.”
The Geneva Theatre Guild presents Young Frankentstein August 3rd through 6th at The Smith Opera House. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday at 2 p.m. The production is rated PG13. Tickets are available at the Smith box office and at thesmith.org.