We are very proud to present our first musical of the 2016-2017 season, Young Frankenstein! We are also excited to introduce our new segment titled "Don't Know the Show" where we will go just under the surface of each show in our season to give our favorite audience -YOU- a little more info about a show you may not be familiar with. Often it happens that someone will see the poster for a show and think, "I don't know that show, I'm not sure if I'll go see it" and they could be missing out on an experience they'll remember forever! So, keep an eye out for our "Don't Know the Show" blog posts, read them, post them, and share them with your friends!
Most of you might be familiar with the film and not-so-much with the musical, but I can tell you that lovers of one are usually lovers of both in this particular screen-to-stage case! I can remember, at a young age, my mother's cackling laugh coming from her bedroom while watching Mel Brooks' 1974 film Young Frankenstein. Alongside classics such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Princess Bride, and A Fish Called Wanda, this side-splitting take on the family history of the Frankensteins claimed its own brand of comedy even after Brooks' victorious Co-Writer credit on the hit 1967 film (later to become the ever popular Broadway musical) The Producers. Around this time in my young life Gene Wilder was becoming a household name, as I would play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on repeat just to watch and giggle at him yelling frantically towards the end of the film. Dr. Frankenstein, also portrayed by Wilder who co-wrote the parody film with Brooks, has somewhat of the same hilarious demeanor. Comedy rises as the doctor trudges through the frustrations of his dim-witted team of helpers as he brings life to a lifeless form, often yelling with his trademark theatrical voice and the widest eyes you'll ever see. There's really nothing funnier than the scene in which they try to sedate the monster after it is on it's feet... it is a must watch!
Now you must be wondering, "What must this be like as a musical?"
Nothing. But. Brilliant.
With songs derived from several of the most iconic lines in the film and dance numbers to knock your socks off, Young Frankenstein embodies Mel Brooks' classic while remaining starkly different with each portrayal of these iconic characters. One of our favorite things about TexRep, and theatre in general, is that with each new actor comes different choices, and more importantly with each new director comes a different feel to the show. Our great friend Aaron Brand at the Texarkana Gazette covers each of our shows in the Accent section and holds an interview with our insanely talented artistic director Michael Cooper to get an idea of the direction he's chosen to give the show. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled and read the article for even more insight on what to expect from our production of Young Frankenstein. So, if you're not sure about this particular rendition because you've seen the film, you won't be watching anything like you've seen anywhere else.
Several of the hopefuls have been chatting eagerly about the shows' "old Broadway" flashy dance numbers and commenting on how many there are compared to shows they've done in the past. All of the buzz for this show and shows in the recent past have stirred attention on social media -namely Facebook- for the arrival of the cast list. Many friends and family members contributed to the hype by posting encouraging comments to the actors and actresses and wishing them luck upon the arrival of the results. During the audition period for our last show (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) a spectator of the facebook-post excitement commented, "Man... I didn't even audition for this show and I'm nervous about the cast list." This kind of response from our community on social media is extremely heartwarming and has given us a new way to stay connected to our audience members! Word of mouth has always been our favorite form of promotion. There is nothing like hearing a friend rave about a show they saw or event they attended that changed their life. Most of the time when I answer the question of what show we've got planned this spring, peoples' first reaction is to spew about how funny the iconic 'Puttin' on the Ritz' tap number is -and don't worry, the writers of the musical have made sure to highlight the number and do it plenty of justice -and we will, too!
Here at TexRep we have the privilege of doing shows new and old, widely known and unknown, and shows that are sometimes hot off the press. During the production of a show it is often that actors will do a bit of background research to help keep their performances fresh and not do what's already been done -yet another reason why we love theatre. After four weeks of previews, the Broadway production opened on November 8th, 2007 to mixed reviews. After closing in January of 2009, a touring production departed from Providence, RI and eventually landed in Texarkana at the historic Perot Theatre in 2011 and was an enormous hit. We'll let your mind wander to possibilities about the set design of this massive production that many companies have executed in various ways on and off-Broadway, though TexRep promises their tricks-of-the-trade, led by our fabulous set designer Chris Polson, to be nothing less than miraculous!
For our production, we have held initial auditions, dance callbacks, and vocal callbacks and the hopefuls are patiently awaiting the 'golden' list. This show requires a large cast and on the evening of February 22nd TexRep had a more-than-satisfactory turn out which lends itself to a hearty cast list. Be sure to tune in to the TexRep website and our Facebook page for news on who's cast as who, skinny on the rehearsal process, set building dates and times, behind-the-scenes fun, and more!
For all you 'young.... YOUNG Frankensteins' entering into 1st Grade through College Freshmen who are interested in doing shows with TexRep or anywhere else, the best way to get to know TexRep and put your face out there is our Annual DRAMA CAMP! We are extremely anxious about this particular 2016 summer musical of PETER PAN JR! All it takes is a filled out form, entry fee and prompt submission because the space is limited to the first 100 applicants! Visit our 'About' tab on our blog, or the Drama Camp tab on our website to read more about what TexRep's drama camps have to offer young children who want to broaden their skills, meet new friends, learn about acting/singing/dancing, and are interested in a fully educational summer! Contact Michael Cooper (903-823-3360) for direct inquiries about how to get started.
Click here for information, auditions, and show dates for our other fabulous shows this season including Tracy Letts's dysfunctional masterpiece August: Osage County, William Shakespeare's beloved classic Twelfth Night, and closing with a parody of American musical comedy of the 1920's and five-time Tony Award Winner, The Drowsy Chaperone.