The Central Wisconsin Area Community Theater (cwACT) is incorporating the Halloween season into their annual musical by performing “The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein” at Sentry’s @1800 Theater in October, right before Halloween.
“I’ve seen comedic musicals before but there is a difference between a musical comedy and a comedic musical,” said director Craig Reinking. “This show starts funny and takes off building from there; working with Mel Brooks material is great opportunity, I couldn’t say no to that chance.”
The play was selected by a play selection committee made up by other cwACT members who choose each play for the following year.
Doing a Halloween themed production was unique; usually the committee picks musicals that are not related seasonally. Some plays are performed multiple times. However, “Young Frankenstein” is a relatively new show and this will be the first time it is being performed by cwACT, which is in its 40th season. This is Reinking’s sixth performance as director.
The show incorporates 20 original songs and some old, including a dance number with Frankenstein’s creation performed to “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and is based on Mel Brooks’ movie, “Young Frankenstein.”
“Fred Frankenstein’s grandfather passed away and his estate will go into the hands of the bank if Fred doesn’t go to Transylvania to handle the affairs of the estate,” Reinking said. “He gets there and joins the family business, making a monster and hilarity ensures.”
The show has 35 cast members, who are all community volunteers. The group has been rehearsing for almost two months to get the lines, songs and choreography down for the two-and-a-half to three-hour October performances.
“The show is very heavy on music and dance – there isn’t a lot of dialogue – it is nearing opera status but still is far from it,” Reinking said.
Reinking has not seen the movie and is holding off until after the show wraps up its final performance.
“I wanted to have a fresh take not inspired by anything in the movie,” he said. “It may sound cliché but we have the most talented cast, with many new faces. If you’re a fan of comedy, this show is for you.”
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 24-26, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Theater @1800, 1800 North Point Drive, Stevens Point.
Tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for children under 12. Some content may not be suitable for children due to the use of adult language and innuendos. Tickets may be purchased at University Information and Tickets, Dreyfus University Center, 1015 Reserve St., Stevens Point, by phone at 715-346-4100 or online at www.tickets.uwsp.edu.
The cast and characters, as well as staff, include Scott Price, Dr. Frankenstein; Michael Ruhbusch, The Monster; Nick Nuber, Igor; Tana De Lonay, Inga; Carlyn Corcoran, Elizabeth/Choreographer; Kendra Schiefelbein; Frau Blucher; Chris Wendt, Inspector Hans Kemp; Pat Hogan, The Hermit;
Lauren Omernik, dance captain/principal dancer; Emily Johnson, dance coach/ensemble; Lacey Crowe-Mortensonm, dance coach/ensemble; Tessa Cash, dance coach/ensemble; Joe Battaglia, Victor Frankenstein/Dracula; Bob Bell, ensemble; Ginny Bigback, ensemble; Monica Davisson, ensemble;
Larry P. Hansen, music director; Maxine Hogan, steward/Ziggette/ensemble; Sue Keyes, Grandmother Mordecai/ensemble; Lori Kluck, ensemble; Savannah Kramas, ensemble; Tre Lipscomb, ensemble; Jon Lowery, assistant director/Town Crier/ensemble; Jared Lunt, assistant director/producer/Bob the Astrologer/ensemble;
Ron Lunt, props master/Mr. Hilltop; Paul Marszalkowski, ensemble/rehearsal pianist; Amber (Zietlow) Michur, Shoeshine/Tasha/ensemble; Paula O’Kray, graphic design/props master/ensemble; Broegy Pease, Village Idiot; Hannah Rahm, ensemble; Renee Reszel, ensemble; Steve Termaat, Villager Number 4/ensemble; and Terri Williams, Telegram Boy/ensemble.