Hampton students prepare to bring 'Young Frankenstein' to life
Hampton High School will bring Frankenstein's monster to life next month in a production that combines more special effects and set pieces than any of the school's past musicals.
The curtain will rise on “The New Mel Brooks Musical — Young Frankenstein” at Hampton High School on April 4 and combine the classic Mel Brooks movie comedy with musical numbers in classic Broadway style.
It tells the story of Frederick Frankenstein, the descendent of the infamous scientist, who takes up his grandfather's experiments and brings a corpse to life.
“I'm really excited about this,” said Dan Franklin, director, who is celebrating directing his 50th show. “We've never done a show of this technical magnitude. … There are so many effects in this show.”
The musical requires large-scale set pieces for 11 locations in the first act and 10 in the second act, including a hangman's scaffold, a hidden bookcase and even a hydraulic lift that allows the actors to bring Frankenstein's monster to life on a lab table 25 feet in the air.
The show requires a stage crew of about 30 students, as well as a cast of 43 and an all-student orchestra of 27.
For the first time in the school's history, the directorial staff chose to double cast the three main female roles: Inga, Frankenstein's lab assistant, Frau Blucher, the housekeeper; and Elizabeth, Frankenstein's fiancée.
“Every girl double cast has so much to give,” said Amanda Rulis, a senior who plays Inga in the Saturday cast. “I think it makes the production much better. Every night, you get a different show.”
Students have worked for months to master choreographer Jen Lavella's complex dance numbers; create and move multiple large set pieces under the direction of Nick Bigatel, technical director; and perfect the comedic timing with the score played by the orchestra, directed by Lurrene Parker.
Each student has faced a different challenge, including Frankenstein's monster, played by sophomore Alex Wood.
While Wood already is 6-foot-2, his monster character towers over the other students on stage with the addition of 5-inch-high platform shoes and the costume's shoulder and head pieces. In addition to learning to move and dance in his costume, Wood also is working to convey his character's lines, which include few words, through facial expressions and grunts.
Brian Hamlin, a senior, spent extra time strengthening his vocal abilities and taking classes in tap dancing and acting in anticipation of this year's musical.
Now Hamlin, who plays Dr. Frankenstein, is working with the actresses in double-cast roles to create on-stage chemistry with each of them. While this presents an additional challenge, Hamlin said, it enhances the show.
“I think … it shows a wide range of talent,” Hamlin said. “It's authentic for our cast because we have a ton of talent in our cast.”
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Shaler students will see advances in technology when they return to class
- Hampton woman’s quilt makes magazine cover
- Pine-Richland student earns opportunity to study in Germany
- Photo Gallery: Food-truck roundup at Northland Public Library
- Nonprofit resale shop prepares for move to new spot in North Hills
- Harvest Home Dinner celebrating 125th year at St. Alphonsus in Pine
- Kids eschew presents for donations to Ohio Township’s Animal Friends
- Hampton school officials to review valedictorian requirements
- 2 promoted to lieutenant in Shaler
- Ross Township officials begin planning for next 20 years
- Photo Gallery: Etna Community Day