Dock Street Theater Production of “Young Frankenstein” Delivers a Monster Hit

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

From opera to contemporary theater, Dock Street Theater represents Southern historic grace with flashy dances, memorable ensemble casts and laughter to carry you long into the night.? In its latest Charleston Stage at the Dock production, Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein, the cast brings a series of musical numbers, dance routines and quirky romance into this 2 hour and 8 minute production capped off with a memorable and slightly audible Monster doing the chorus of Puttin’ on the Ritz.? True to form of the witty and subtle humor of Mel Brooks, the direction of this production from casting, to stage numbers to accents would make Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks proud.

Jocelyn Lonquist plays the role of Inga with an unconventional and adorable sexiness.? Her slight of hand Romanian accent and sexual undertones set the stage for an awkward romance with Dr. Frankenstein that shines.? Her chemistry with Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, played by Jesse Siak worked so well as their differences complimented each other throughout the play.? Jesse set the pace early with his musical lesson on the brain at Johns Mirian and Anthony Hopkins University.? Looking like a cross between Josh Grobin and Gene Wilder, Siak carries the role of the lovable doctor with ambitions of greatness with ease and charm.

Though he only had a few lines that would be considered coherent English, the role of The Monster, played by Kyle Barnette went without a flaw.? His interaction with the blind hermit and his stage performance of Puttin’ on the Ritz made for a stream of laughter that was heard throughout the entire theater.

Aaron Hancock, was Marty Feldman reborn.? His presence on stage as Igor was magnificent with incredible creativity and range and near flawless timing and mannerisms fitting of a Transylvanian named Igor.

Like Coke and Bacardi, Hepburn and Tracy, Together Again, sung by Igor and Dr. Frankenstein showed from their opening scene together, they were destined to be together again for the first time.? Both actors brought they own personal zaniness to the stage, but together, it was clear they were meant to be.

Frau Blucher, played by Becca Anderson, who also gave a phenomenal performance in Boeing, Boeing, continues to show her incredible range as an actress.? Her strong deep accent and strange bed manner, that made the other actors feel slightly uncomfortable on stage, made her strange and delightful at the same time.

As Act I concluded and Act II continued with the same intelligent slapstick way, the relationship between Dr. Frankenstein, Igor, Inga and Frau Blucher grew stronger and stronger.? In the end, finding love in wake of the insanity of medicine demonstrated the humor of life, passion for greatness no matter how insane and the compassion to fit in no matter how different you may be.

The success of this show would not be complete without an amazing ensemble that interchanged between villagers to performers to an entourage.

Allie Reidy added just the right mix of timely comic relief as Elizabeth Benning, the rich estranged fiance of Dr. Frankenstein.? Her self-absorbed depiction of the rich New York debutant with her make-up, minx and fancy dresses would make any rich brat proud.? She hung her head high with playful cockiness in each of her scenes.

Dock Street raises the bar of Charleston Theater.? It tackles projects that Broadway takes on with multi-million dollar budgets and executes them with a level of excitement and energy that makes Charleston proud.? Young Frankenstein is no exception to the quality and excellence of this theater company.

With brilliant casting and direction, Young Frankenstein will keep you laughing and talking long after you have left the theater and are walking the streets of downtown Charleston.

Young Frankenstein is playing at the Dock Street Theater at 135 Church Street from October 17th to November 2.? You should get your tickets soon.? This show will impress.

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