Photo courtesy of Burien Actors Theatre.
Actor Jayln Green portrays Igor In Burien Actors Theater production of Young Frankenstein, Friday, Sept. 20
Young Frankenstein the Musical at BAT
The theatre formerly known as BLT has been making a lot of great things lately. First of all, Burien Little Theatre is making a change in its name to Burien Actors Theatre to more accurately reflect the quality of the work onstage, and that the company is not a children’s theater.
But don’t worry, Burien Actors Theatre will still be making great theatre. On Friday, Sept. 20, BAT opens their new season with The New Mel Brooks Musical YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Inspired by the Frankenstein legend and Brooks’ own 1974 film of the same name, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is a musical romp through Transylvania as bright young Dr. Frankenstein (“that’s Fronkensteen”) attempts to complete his grandfather Victor’s masterwork and bring a corpse to life.
And speaking of the corpse, the folks at BAT are also making a Monster. After all, where would the Frankenstein story be without the Creature?
Making a monster is no easy task, but actor John Lynch is up for the challenge. At 6’3”, Lynch is already a formidable presence on stage. But transforming himself into the Creature still required a lot of hard work and a certain amount of risk.
“The biggest challenge for me are the boots!” confesses Lynch. “The boots I am wearing are about 5 lbs. apiece. They are about 6 inches tall...the soles are made of stacked wooden planks. I’ve taken a couple of spills already!”
Luckily for Lynch, his co-stars are also up to the task of supporting him on stage. “Thank God for Drew (Andrew Galteland, who portrays Dr. Frankenstein), Jayln (Jayln Green as Igor) and Marissa (Marissa Ryder as Inga) who do a lot of tap dancing around me, literally and figuratively!,” laughs Lynch. “Just getting used to these boots and learning to move has been a challenge. It is a dangerous struggle just getting up and down those stairs (on the set).”
But it hasn’t been all danger and struggle for Lynch and the rest of the cast and crew of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. The opportunity to perform in a show based on a beloved comedy masterpiece is a thrill for each of them.
For the cast, BAT is making dreams come true.
“I’ve always wanted to play the Frankenstein monster in some way, shape or form ever since I was a kid.” says Lynch. “I’ve seen the old Boris Karloff movies a dozen times at least, so to get a chance to actually play him is a dream come true for me.”
Andrew Galteland, as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, echoes this sentiment. “YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN was one of those movies I saw as a kid, so when Mel Brooks did a musical version of it, I was even more ecstatic to get a part like this. It’s a dream role for me.”
And finally, in addition to making a name change, great theatre, a monster and dreams come true, BAT also intends to make one more thing: the audiences laugh with delight.
Galteland is confident this will happen, for those who are familiar with the movie and even for those who aren’t.
“I think the show is definitely a parody of the movie, but it’s a parody of the “Big Flashy Musical” too,” explains Galteland. “It’s got a lot of memorable parts from the movie, but it’s also got a lot of its own humor. We think it’s going to be fun for the audiences.”
Jayln Green (Igor) sums it up nicely: “It’s Mel Brooks! It’s going to be great!”
The New Mel Brooks Musical YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN runs from Sept. 20 through October 27. It performs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Ticket prices range from $7 to $20. Check out special opening weekend ticket deals and make reservations online at www.burienactorstheatre.org or call 206-242-5180.
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is directed by Steve Cooper with musical direction by Heather Maclaughlin Garbes and features the diverse acting talents of Elizabeth M. Bender, Adrian Cerrato, James Fesalbon, Jeremy Force, Andrew Galteland, Jayln Green, Nathaniel Jones, John Lynch, Alicia Mendez, Chelsea Moe, Gavin Sakae McLean, Mandy Nelson, Helen Roundhill, Marissa Ryder and Mindy Whitfield.