The Coast News Group

‘Young Frankenstein’ musical to come to life at Kit Carson Amphitheatre

ESCONDIDO — The zany, high-energy “Young Frankenstein” the musical will be performed by the Patio Playhouse cast at Kit Carson Amphitheatre in Kit Carson Park Aug. 9 to Aug. 24.The performance will be the Southern California premiere of the musical written by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan.The cast consists of 30 larger-than-life characters. They will be accompanied by a live orchestra.Characters include Frederick Frankenstein played by Tyler C. Jiles, Igor played by Sean Doughty, Inga played by Jenna Wille, Frau Blucher played by Kelli Harless, Elizabeth played by Lindsay O’Connor, and the “Monster” played by Donny Bronson.

Igor is Frederick Frankenstein’s assistant, who is sensitive about the hump on his back. He takes on his grandfather’s profession and encourages Frederick to do the same.

Inga is the sexy lab assistant who entices Frederick to stick around.

Frau Blucher is an old flame of Frederick’s grandfather. She is sympathetic to the monster and causes horses to neigh when her name is said.

Elizabeth is Frederick’s self-absorbed fiancée who lives in New York.

Frederick Frankenstein is the hero and protagonist of the story. He is a neurosurgeon who inherits his grandfather’s castle and is resistant to taking on the family business.

“The fact that I’m playing a character that Gene Wilder played so many years ago is definitely a major highlight,” Jiles said.

Doughty describes his character.

“Igor is one of the funniest characters in the show and there is so much you can do with his character,” Doughty said.

Wille shares what she likes best about playing the role of Inga.

“Her lines are so witty and comedic, it will be fun to play around with,” Wille said. “I also love the fact that I get to yodel.”

The musical is 75 percent song and dance, and 25 percent dialogue.

As soon as actors were cast, rehearsals began one to three times a week, sometimes splitting up the cast to rehearse singing, dancing and music at different locations.

The week before the performance, the rehearsal schedule escalated to “hell week.” The cast and orchestra rehearsed on stage five to six times a week for three-hour blocks.

Brenda Townsend, the production producer, describes the musical as having a more mature content than the play, which was also written by Brooks and Meehan. The target audience is age 16 and older.

“Because it is based on the movie, this is a show that is quoted by nerds worldwide,” Richard Brounsil, production director, said.

“Young Frankenstein” is part of the Escondido Plays in the Park summer series.

The Patio Playhouse, whose home is an 80-seat black box theater on the corner of Grand Avenue and Kalmia Street, is an annual participant in the summer series.

The summer performance at the spacious 1,200-seat outdoor amphitheater is the biggest and most elaborate production the playhouse puts on all year.

“Summer is always a big splashing musical,” Larry Steckling, Patio Playhouse public relations manager, said.

The Patio Playhouse is a nonprofit community and youth theater group. All production managers, cast and crewmembers are volunteers. Children and adults participate in the theater free of charge.

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