By Wayne Harada
“Young Frankenstein,” Manoa Valley Theatre’s 2012-13 season opener, has a Wednesday-only deal for the upcoming Sept. 12 performance only.
You can get two tickets for $40 — online or by phone — as the theater reintroduces Wednesday evening performances as part of the season. It's a savings of $30 for a pair of adult tickets.
For the past two years, a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee show had been in place; the Wednesday playdate — call it Humpday— returns this season and replaces that Saturday slot in the production schedule, according to Dwight Martin, MVT’s producing director.
“Frankenstein” is a wacky musical based on the beloved 1974 Mel Brooks-Gene Wilder comedy film that re-imagines the Frankenstein story. It opened on Broadway in 2007, running for more than a year.
To reacquaint audiences to the Wednesday performances, MVT is offering an online and by-phone a 2for40 special (two tickets for $40) for this first Wednesday performance only. The offer is not applicable to new sales. Use the 2for40 code promotion code online (www.manoavalleytheatre.com); when phoning, ask for the 2for40 special (988-6131) Regular prices will prevail for the Wednesday shows.
“Young Frankenstein” repeats at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 4 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 23. Regular tickets: $35 for adults, $30 for seniors and military, $25 for youths $25 and under.
In its Hawaii premiere, “Young Frankenstein” ought to scare up full houses, though the laughs are erratic and the chemistry of characters/actors more of a script issue than casting.
The musical, like the film, is an homage to those horror flicks of yesteryear, of haunted mansions and of life created from the remnants of body parts. While more comedic than horrific, kids under 6 should not attend, because of some bawdy adult themes relating to sex.
The show boasts has some daffy moments and delightful performances. The first joy comes in the usual pre-curtain instruction from Frau Brucher, played by Shannon Winpenny, a caricature of Germanic rigidity decked out in coiled and bunned ‘do, black gown, and a stiff demeanor not unlike that of the ballet mistress Madame Giry in “Phantom of the Opera.” Winpenny later steals the show with her “He Vas My Boyfriend” solo. Vunderful, vith vow factor.
Equally appealing, and remarkably mobile in a hunched posture, is Paul Mitri as Igor, who looks like a Trick or Trickster with a roving hunchback. He shadows the central character, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, played by the likeable Elitei Tatafu Jr., the grandson of the famous laboratory doctor, who returns to Transylvania to settle family matters but gets engaged in reliving his famous kin’s experiment of bringing life to a corpse. But the young doc’s role is mostly pratfalls and gag upon gag, though a “Roll in the Hay” number with assistant, Inga, played by Samantha Stoltzfus, is a highlight of quick-moving, sit-down, simulated-lovemaking. Verboten? Perhaps. But giddy and outrageous.
Then there’s Miles McGee, as The Monster, who blooms and grooves to “Puttin’ on the Ritz” with other principals, upholding the good-fun, good-memories of a rave-dance to the ol’ Irving Berlin classic. This is the most cohesive, celebratory moment of “Young Frankenstein,” justifying attendance.
Go see for yourself. And for that bargain admission, considering going on Wednesday (Sept. 12). Vunderbar.
MVT sets tryouts for
‘Speed the Plow’
On a related note, Manoa Valley Theatre will hold auditions at 7 p.m. today (Sept. 10) at the theater for its upcoming production of David Mamet’s “Speed the Plow.”
Scott Rogers will direct. Performances will be from Nov. 8 through Dec. 2.
The play is a satire of American movie-making and examines at corporate backstabbing, power play and greed.
Three roles are available — two men and a woman. The male characters, Bobby Gould and Charlie Fox, should be between 35 through 50 years old, and should have fast-talking confidence. The woman’s role, Karen, should be 20ish and slim and attractive; Madonna played the character in the play’s Broadway run in 1988.
Scripts may be perused on the MVT site, 2833 E. Manoa Road, between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.