Last November MBIP Contributor Chip Joyce directed a stage production of “The Graduate” at Corn Stock Theatre. That’s one of my favorite movies and I was kind of doubtful that they could pull off an onstage version that was anywhere near as good as the movie and I was happily surprised with the production. It was a great show and I enjoyed it just as much and maybe even a little more than the movie. Well, Chip’s directing another stage production of yet another one of my favorite films, Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein,” at the Eastlight Theatre in East Peoria. I went to the matinee last Sunday and of course I took my sometime troublesome MBIP camera and so through the miracle of the interwebs, you can come along too!
The Eastlight Theatre is located inside of the East Peoria High School, but I have no idea where to go. So let's wander and see what we find...
Okay, after a few minutes of wandering and coming into contact with some locked doors and entrances into doors where I didn’t belong, I believe we’ve found the main entrance. Don’t ask me how I know these things, it just comes with the territory.
And it looks like it’s going to lead us right through this door. At moments like this, I always hope and pray that Carol Merrill is standing on the other side with Monty Hall in the not so far distance. It never happens though, proving once again that life can be a series of crashing disappointments punctuated with sad and bitter conclusions. Sob!
There is no Carol nor a full Monty in sight, but there is a fluster of activity over at that table. Let’s go check it out.
In a true Jon Lovitz-like inspired moment, Myron hands me my ticket. Thank you, Myron!
And just seconds after I receive my ticket, who shows up but the man who’s directing “Young Frankenstein,” Chip Joyce! Chip was in a hurry but said that at intermission he’d take us backstage for some exclusive behind the stage photos. Before he took off, he proudly displayed his right palm which has brought him so much pleasure through the years! I’d go on, but that’s a story that Chip needs to tell himself. Maybe in a future post! I will supply a working title though: “A Bit Of A Sticky Wicket.”
Okay, time to go find our seat, let’s go through this door...
And get a program. I love reading the little biographies of the actors in these. For instance, did you know that Adam Sitton is the luckiest guy on earth? I never knew this and I’ve just made a mental note to give Adam some money to buy me a Lotto ticket.
And yet another door to go through to our final destination for a while, the theatre itself. For a second I thought that was Carol Merrill standing over there, but no such luck. Okay, just like Aldous Huxley, it’s through the doors of perception we travel.
Wow, the theatre is very impressive! Lots of seats and The Young Frankenstein logo is flashed on the screen.
They have a 44 track multi-graphic mixing board along with two analog tweezing units and a geolithic swabbing tower back here. Very state of the art!
This is the view from were I’m seated and Chip came out seconds after this picture was taken and announced among other things that no pictures could be taken during the show. Then he exited stage left, I think to hand it to himself. But don’t quote me on that. Since I couldn’t take pictures of the musical as it unfolds on stage, I thought I’d put up this video below which condenses the movie down into a five minute film. Perfect for this age where people have the attention span of a gnat just given nine seconds to live. Okay, lights...camera...Young Frankenstein!”
Wow the first half was stupendous! The songs are catchy and hilarious, wonderful dancing and acting and the props and special effects are really spectacular. This rivals anything I’ve seen on Broadway, it’s done so professionally and the cast is stupendous. If you’re a fan of “Young Frankenstein,” you need to see this. The songs and dancing take it to another entertainment level. And there's a scene where some of the women where these really short nurse skirts. But now it’s intermission time and the crowd is streaming out after it was announced that there’s cake in the luncheon hall.
No cake for us just yet though, Chip made good on his promise and here we are backstage with the cast taking a break and relaxing. Let’s wander around and say hi to some of them.
Here’s four of the main characters of the cast along with the name of their character, from left: Adam Sitton/ Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, Megan Simpson/Inga, George Maxedon/The Monster and Alex Mansoori/Igor. This is a talented group of actors and their performances blew me away. Just one of the highlights so far is Megan’s impressive yodeling!
More cast and ensemble performers are mingling over here, from left: Barb Couri, Sarah Blume, Jo-Street Blume, Tonya Wake and Matt Stubbs.
Barb Couri as Frau Blucher was a real treat. She has great comedic timing and the crowd loves her. It’s just the horses that have a problem with her.
Sarah is the costumer who says she keeps busy through the whole show replacing buttons and other objects that need immediate repair.
Adam and Jillian Risinger share a moment of laughter before they have to return to the stage.
Okay, let's move to the other side of the building and see what's going on in intermission land.
As promised, there's cake!
Look at all the rules, who runs this place, the Soup Nazi? Sheesh!
I got the turtle cake in honor of Bill Molleck!
Safety first! Check out this Heimlich maneuver poster complete with a...
Okay, intermission's over, time for part two...
I actually had to leave five minutes before it ended to meet my parents for dinner, so if anyone out there has seen this, let me know how it ends. Shit, I forgot to give Adam my Lotto money! Oh well, thanks to Chip and the entire cast and crew of "Young Frankenstein" for a wonderful show. You still have a few nights to catch the show, the dates are listed below. We'll see you all tomorrow!
Show times remaining: September, 17, 18, 19 and 20 at 7:30pm. You can buy tickets online right here.
Today’s post was brought to you by The Fox Pub and Cafe. Check them and all the other fine businesses helping to support this blog over at the MBIP Bucket List Page. Your Daily Random Linkage awaits you at the bottom of the that page as well!