The Church Street Center Social Hall was packed Saturday night as students and family members anticipated Harlequin’s final performance of “Young Frankenstein.” The musical tells the story of how Victor Von Frankenstein’s grandson, Frederick, inherits his grandfather’s estate in Transylvania. Not wanting to take part in the family business, Frederick soon changes his mind with a little song and dance.
Although the show did start a little past 8 p.m., the audience cheered as many new faces in the musical theater club took stage. The seating was different; chairs were set up so the stage was to the right, where the live band performed throughout the play, while in front was a cinder block painted backdrop. Not the usually location for a Harlequin performance, and it was difficult to see even from an isle seat. Many audience members were stretching up to see over people’s heads, or moving from side to side to see between others.
Junior Danielle DeLamater directed and choreographed the musical. It’s obvious everyone who was a part of the performance worked incredibly hard. At one point during the show, during a big dance number, DeLamater was standing in the back of the room, right behind the audience, mocking the steps that the actors were performing themselves.
The live band added something to the show. Unlike Harlequin’s fall semester musical revue where a smaller band is used, the full band added so much more to each particular scene, syncing up with certain moments to add more of an effect. The band consisted of the classic piano and drums/percussion, but also trombone, trumpet and flute.
Newcomers Nate Abell and Amanda Gilmore, both freshmen, added humor to the mix. Gilmore played the village idiot Ziggy, whose silly humor and obliviousness made the audience laugh, and Abell played multiple characters throughout the show, Inspector Kemp being his more dominate role, the village’s sheriff.
Sophomore Tim Downs played the lead as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, and the role could not have been as perfect for anyone else. Downs’ voice was perfect for the songs he performed, and the fact that he could keep a straight face during all of the sexual banters and jokes is impressive. Maggie Winslow played the hysterical, but ever-so-lovable Inga. She also kept a straight face during each crazy scene, and props to her, as well as the other actors, for keeping that Romanian accent throughout the whole show, especially while singing. Downs and Winslow worked so well together, going back and forth easily, and making the audience laugh over little junior high boob jokes.
Junior Alex Sasso played the serious housekeeper Frau Blucher, but her persona lightened up throughout the play. During Sasso’s performance of “He Vas My Boyfriend,” the audience was laughing so hard at some points you couldn’t hear her sing. Every time her name was mentioned, horses neighed in the background, which made you think of her character in a more intimidating light, but that was not the case.
Another hysterical character was Igor, played by Conner Noblit. With a hump that changed positions every other scene, and an innocent attitude to match, Igor was the semi-minor character that the audience seemed to enjoy the most. Noblit’s enthusiasm for his character was definitely shown throughout the night. His performance with Downs, “Together Again for the First Time,” was a great introduction to a dynamic duo.
Even though the show was long, it was still insanely enjoyable. With comedy and music, it’s no wonder that Harlequin is able to bring in full houses for their shows. They’re able to show true student talent, being able to even give new members a moment in the spotlight.
Although there are no more shows for Harlequin this year, FPA will be performing “Our Country’s Good” April 26 to 29 in Venable Theater. For more information, visit mcla.ticketleap.com/our-countrys-good.