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SC Dramatic Workshop

Insane hilarity in South Fallsburg

In Review

William Brenner
Posted 8/31/21

Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" kicked off the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop theatrical season with an outrageous, risque and non-stop laughter-filled production - and did we need it!

Friday, …

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SC Dramatic Workshop

Insane hilarity in South Fallsburg

In Review

Posted

Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" kicked off the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop theatrical season with an outrageous, risque and non-stop laughter-filled production - and did we need it!

Friday, August 13th was a busy opening night for the beautifully refurbished Rivoli Theatre which lit up South Fallsburg, was almost completely packed with families, friends and wacked-out fans of Mel Brooks' insane comedy. Every expectation of a wild, rowdy evening came true.

First, the cast: Professional yet joyously crazy as bedbugs, Kristopher Rosengrant portrayed the brilliant Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, on the scientific precipice, to bring to life a monster of his own. His associates in this quest is reminiscent of Kermit the Frog's gong. H.J. Strauss plays Igor the helpful assistant who switches the monster's genius humanitarian brain for that of a maniacal killer.

The workshop's most distinguished actress, Lori Schneider, finally found a challenging role as the haunting housekeeper Frau Blucher, of whom the mere mention of her name, anytime, gets horses to neigh and whinny. She sets the monster free at last.

Things got heated up on stage when Lourdesa Hunt portrayed Dr. Frankenstein's fiance, Elizabeth Benning, who takes a turn for the monster. Taylor Lamerand portrayed Inga who immortalized the "roll in the hay".

Special mention must be made to Jean Eifert as the blind hermit who befriends the lost and lonely monster deep in the forest. In turns, the lovable hermit scalds the monster with hot soup down his pants, sets his hand on fire, and sends the monster screaming for dear life crashing out through the wall.

The dumbfounded star of the show is Keith Prince, who played the 7 foot green stitched faced monster. Wearing a top hat and signing "Puttin' on the Ritz", rampaging through the audience, or as a sensitive loving creature, he stole the show.

The behind the scenes stars of this incredible show were Amy Phillips (director and musical director) and Lauren Berard conducted 6 keystone musicians to wit: Pianists Jeff Young and Leon Hilfstein, violinist Nancy Wegrzyn, Trumpet/Brass was Dr. Jay Solomon, Flutist Kerry Mahone, and drummer/percussionist Alan Charney.

Utilizing split second timing was lighting director/designer Grace Summa, and Technical Director/Sound Director Abott L. Finkel. They were responsible for lightning, thunder, horse neighs and the flashing, bumbling, re-animation machine.

This was a long awaited Sullivan County Workshop effort. The Rivoli Theatre in South Fallsburg was refurbished with comfortable red seats. The wrap around sound system was updated and clarified to compete with any regional theatre.

For those who saw the original "Young Frankenstein" movie, it was a comical master with director Mel Brooks' humor restricted by movie censors. In this play, Mel Brooks was let loose, uncensored. His risque humor is reminiscent of his Catskill hotel days.

Young Frankenstein opened on Friday, August 13th. Opening on the same day was the Grahamsville "Little World's Fair". Ellenville's Shadowland Theatre and the Forestburgh Playhouse continued their theatrical extravaganzas.

Young Frankenstein is the show in which you want to laugh and leave the past closures and problems behind.

TANYS (Theatre Association of New York State) just adjudicated the Saturday performance of "Young Frankenstein" and made a number of awards for meritorious achievement (Meritorious Achievement in Performance to Lourdesa Hunt for her portrayal of Elizabeth Benning. Meritorious Achievement in Performance to Taylor Lamerand for her portrayal of Inga, Meritorious Achievement in Performance to Lori Schneider for her portrayal of Frau Blucher, and Excellence in Orchestral Direction and Performance to Lauren Bernard and the Orchestra).

SCDW Secretary Eileen Kalter says, "Community Theatre is really important nowadays!"

It is the perfect summer stock show masterfully, if not monsterly, performed, by the combined efforts of cast, musicians, technicians and directors.

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