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‘Young Frankenstein’ coming to North Fort Myers High

By Staff | Apr 22, 2015

The musical version of one of Mel Brooks’ funniest movies will hit the stage at North Fort Myers High School this weekend for four big shows.

“Young Frankenstein” will be happening on April 23-26, with the first three shows at 7 p.m. and the final Sunday matinee at 2 at the high school auditorium.

It will be your opportunity to see the hilarious exploits of Dr. Frankenstein (that’s Fronk-en-steen), Igor (pronounced Eye-gor), Frau Blucher (insert horse winnie here), Inga and, of course, the monster.

Unlike the 1974 movie, the production will be brought to life with numerous large musical numbers as well as solo performances by the star players.

Monday marked the first dress rehearsal where many of the kinks began to get ironed out, and though there is still work to do, it appeared on its way to being another success with the potential for numerous awards.

Michele Whitener, director of the production, said she made the determination to do “Young Frankenstein” by seeing who was coming back to do something like last year’s “Shrek.”

“I thought it was funny. I look for large production numbers because we have students that love musical theater so we try not to pick shows where they sing and dance once,” Whitener said.

The show, for which work started in January, will feature 65 performers, more than 20 behind the scenes and 22 student orchestra members, Whitener said.

Many of the stars this year had major roles last year. One of them, Sam Bowling, has the role of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein. Last year he was Donkey in “Shrek.”

“Frankenstein is a crazy, spastic, nasally, over-the-top kind of human being, so it was like ‘if the shoe fits’ because I’m all those things,'” Bowling said. “It’s one of my dad’s favorite movies because we like stupid humor and that’s what the show is all about.”

The challenge for Bowling is that with the non-stop nature of his character and the fact he’s in nearly all the scenes, it takes a lot of energy, but he’s up to the task.

“It takes a lot of energy, a lot of water and granola bars getting me through this,” Bowling said. “But the music is great and I’m glad they kept all the old jokes in it.”

Jesse Derosier, who plays the monster, said the biggest challenge is the 30 to 60 minutes he spends in makeup and the many layers he has to wear.

“It’s lots of sweating, lots of layers. It adds to what I can do to do the best I can,” Derosier said.

Zachary Rivers, who plays Igor, made history by being the first freshman in school history to grab a leading role. Igor, like Frankenstein, is a high energy role.

“There’s a lot of physicality. There’s a lot of jumping around and hunching over and you have to be outrageous,” Rivers said. “I get very sweaty by the end of ‘Transylvania Mania.'”

Other lead characters include Nadya Baez as Inga, Kassandra Crompton as Frau Blucher and Sierra Bores as Elizabeth, Frankenstein’s girlfriend.

As for next year, Whitener said she would get rid of the green makeup after using it in the last two productions. Outside of that, she hasn’t made up her mind.

The one thing everyone had in common was one simple quote.

Come see the show.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. For more go to www.nfmredknights.com.