“Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein” electrifies audiences at the La Mirada Theatre

Just a mile away from Biola University, viewers pile into the auditorium to watch the soft opening of the “Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein” musical.

Fashion Castillo-Delgadillo, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein,” a lively spinoff of “Frankenstein” directed by Jeff Whiting, boasts a highly accomplished cast and impressive set production. The story follows the main character, Frederick Frankestein, as he inherits his grandfather’s estate and travels from New York to Transylvania to settle his affairs. Frederick initially debunks his infamous grandfather’s work of bringing the dead back to life but cannot resist the temptation of creating the next monster of the century. Alongside his lab assistant, Inga, and his hunchbacked sidekick, Igor, Frederick collects what he needs to carry out his grandfather’s work. When the monster escapes, the mad scientist must find a way to save his new creation and himself from the consequences of his actions. 

ATMOSPHERE AND SET PRODUCTION

On Friday, Sept. 16th, the audience filed into the theater and bustled with excited conversations during the soft opening of the newest show at the La Mirada Theatre. The cast includes Sally Struthers starring as Frau Blücher, who is most known for her roles in “Gilmore Girls” and “All In The Family.” The opening night for “Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein” received a standing ovation that complimented the amazing feats of the cast and crew.

In terms of set production, the spectacular costumes and rotating sets were full of thrilling pyrotechnics that complimented the theatrical musical numbers. The audience’s frequent laughter and applause fueled the actors’ convincing portrayals of their characters. Many times throughout the show, the actors would subtly break the fourth wall and exchange facial expressions with the audience or prolong various moments of silence to gain reactions. “Puttin’ on the Ritz” in the second act was one of the most notable numbers of the night — featuring a tap extravaganza with spectacular lighting and choreography. 

THEMES & VALUES

The play, full of questionable moral dilemmas, breaks with Christian values. The show perpetrates sexual innuendos and the story of Frankenstein itself breaks the boundary between life and death. “Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein” uses crude satire to poke fun at horror movie cliches and grand musical numbers to move the story along. 

Students can attend local productions at the theater, which is within walking distance of Biola, at a discounted price of only fifteen dollars. This upcoming fall and spring, the La Mirada Theatre has a wide array of upcoming plays and events for the community, including productions of “A Few Good Men,” “Grease,” “The King and I” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

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