This was a really big weekend at Chicago Street with the opening of The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein, our co-production with The Ensemble Theatre Company. It was wonderful seeing this massive project between two theatre companies come together and take the stage to such a welcoming response. The lobby was buzzing during the intermission and the nonstop laughter and applause throughout the performances reinforced the reasons that CST took this year-long journey with ETC Artistic Director Zach Gipson and his newly formed company--together both companies could make a great piece of art.
For those of you who haven't seen the show yet, it is a lot like Frederick and Igor's duet "Together Again for the First Time" that appears in the first act of the play. Based on Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder's 1974 comic masterpiece, there is a lot about this show that is familiar and nostalgic with its memorable characters and lines. So much of the humor that makes the movie such a favorite is there. I think part of the audience's sheer enjoyment comes from the anticipation of lines and bits they know and love. What makes the show even more enjoyable is the way that Brooks and his writing partner, Thomas Meehan, have expanded on the hilarity of the jokes and familiar characters by translating them into the musical numbers. And why wouldn't they? These are, after all, the two geniuses who adapted The Producers into the most awarded Broadway hit of all time.
While no play or musical is a guaranteed hit right out of the box, what attracted CST to this project with ETC, was the absolute passion of its director, Zach Gipson. Zach deserves a huge amount of the credit for assembling an unbelievable cast and creative team who worked through many challenges to give audiences a beautiful and memorable night of pure entertainment.
The results are astounding from the acting to the dancing to the art direction and special effects. Although there is a sense of nostalgia with the material, there are a lot of moments that are visionary and unexpected with Zach's direction of the show.
The talented cast can't hide the fun they are having performing this show for an audience. It is a truly delightful experience and I hope you will join us for the laughter and fun!
-Eric Brant, CST Member & Director of Marketing
PS. This is not a show for the little ones! There is a fair bit of mature content.