May 2016

Young Frankenstein: A Funny Take On the Classic

Author: Barbara K. Clark | Photographer: Chandler Hummell

One of the nice things about getting older is the chance to watch the young attain their place in life. When the late Jodie Du Puis told me she was going to produce the musical Sugar in 2008, I auditioned once again to recreate the role of Sweet Sue. Also cast was a talented young man, Travis Hornsby, to play Beanstock, the manager of Sweet Sue’s band. Hornsby was simply a joy to work with. Fast forward eight years and meet the director of May River Theatre’s 2016 season opener, Young Frankenstein. And, what better way to describe this musical than from the director himself.

When asked what his thoughts were, regarding the upcoming production, Hornsby said, “It’s been said that imitation is the highest form of flattery. And nowhere is that flattery more prevalent than in the tale and retelling of Frankenstein’s story. Ever since Mary Shelley put pen to paper one stormy night, audiences have been fascinated and have congregated to see her story come to life in new, interesting, and exciting ways. Such is the case with Gene Wilder’s original screenplay, Young Frankenstein, brought to the big screen by Mel Brooks—later adapted into the staged musical of the same name.”

The constant theme, in all adaptations, is life in all of its glorious complications as well as our quest for immortality. We want to be remembered and live on forever. The monster represents man’s desire to create something lasting. An ascension among mere mortals. A legacy. Our ever constant over-compensation.

Young Frankenstein presents a funny take on the enduring classic and poses questions of familial ties, the power of love, man’s aversion to change, and how many different ways Frankenstein can be pronounced. It’s a blend of show-stopping tunes, spectacular musical numbers, a fair dose of double entendre, and hilarious one-liners.

The outstanding cast, composed of actors from all over the Lowcountry, includes Daniel Bittick playing the lead role of Frederick Frankenstein; Madison Ogburn, Inga; Edward Watson, the monster; Stephan Brannan, Igor; James Siler, Inspector Kemp; Lauren Cleland, Elizabeth; Carol Melton, Frau Blucher. The musical director is Warren Heilman, and Morgan Johnston is the choreographer.

The show runs May 13-May 29, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. All performances are at the Ulmer Auditorium in Bluffton Town Hall on Bridge Street. All seating is reserved and all tickets are $25 per person. Season tickets are still available. 

For further information, call the box office at (843) 815-5581 or visit the website at On-line ticketing and box office opening will commence May 2.

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