Frederick Frankenstein, played by Callum Marks, right, meets his relative Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein, played by Taisha Fermin, during a rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain High School production of “Young Frankenstein” at TMHS on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Frederick Frankenstein, played by Callum Marks, right, meets his relative Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein, played by Taisha Fermin, during a rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain High School production of “Young Frankenstein” at TMHS on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

An Abby Normal high school musical

‘Young Frankenstein’ is Thunder Mountain’s next musical

Lightning is coming to Thunder Mountain High School.

To the delight of its cast, “Young Frankenstein,” the high school’s spring musical, opens Thursday and is based on the classic Mel Brooks comedy, which riffs on Mary Shelley’s horror novel and Universal’s monster movies.

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“There were rumors swirling that ‘Young Frankenstein’ might be the show, and we were like that would be cool, but it’s never going to happen,’” said Alex Wehe, who plays the Creature in the show. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Callum Marks, who plays Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, agrees.

“I think it’s really fun doing things where the intended audience isn’t 6 to 8 years old,” Marks said.

Callum Marks plays Frederick Frankenstein during a rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain High School production of “Young Frankenstein” at TMHS on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Callum Marks plays Frederick Frankenstein during a rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain High School production of “Young Frankenstein” at TMHS on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Briannah Letter, who plays Frau Blücher, said the PG-13 comedy is definitely a change of pace.

“It’s a little surprising,” Letter said. “We kind of expected to do another children’s show, but I’m glad we did it.”

Plus, the austere Frau Blücher is a change of pace for Letter, too.

“It’s very out of the ordinary for me,” Letter said. “I’ve normally played very kind characters.”

In addition to some semi-raunchy humor, the show includes songs and plenty of chances for physical humor.

Wehe said some of his favorite moments in the show are when he gets to engage in slapstick.

“‘Putting On the Ritz’ is a lot of fun, but my favorite is probably the hermit scene,” Wehe said. “I get beaten up quite a bit.”

Frederick Frankenstein, played by Callum Marks, right, meets his relative Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein, played by Taisha Fermin, during a rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain High School production of “Young Frankenstein” at TMHS on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Frederick Frankenstein, played by Callum Marks, right, meets his relative Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein, played by Taisha Fermin, during a rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain High School production of “Young Frankenstein” at TMHS on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The show offered a fun challenge for people behind the scenes, said assistant director Sam Viteri, who said he’s had an interest in the technical aspects of theater since middle school.

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“There’s a lot of stuff behind the scenes,” Viteri said. “Without the right lighting, without the right set pieces, sometimes a stage with actors isn’t enough.”

Cast members Taisha Fermin, left, Jerome Stroup, Irene Oduro-Dwamena, Frank Johnston, Ursula Syrene, Dean Franklin and Alex Thompson sing in the ensemble during a rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain High School production of “Young Frankenstein” at TMHS on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Cast members Taisha Fermin, left, Jerome Stroup, Irene Oduro-Dwamena, Frank Johnston, Ursula Syrene, Dean Franklin and Alex Thompson sing in the ensemble during a rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain High School production of “Young Frankenstein” at TMHS on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Lightning flashes, a medical table, a giant rotating bookshelf and a hay wagon are all part of the production, Viteri said.

Cast and crew warned that the lightning is a recurring feature of the show and might not ideal for those with a sensitivity to flashing lights.

Alex Klimkewicz, English and drama teacher for Thunder Mountain High School, said the set also includes some deep-cut references to both Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee’s takes on Frankenstein.

Callum Marks, as Frederick Frankenstein, takes a buggy ride with Morgan Blackgoat, as Inga, during a rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain High School production of “Young Frankenstein” at TMHS on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Callum Marks, as Frederick Frankenstein, takes a buggy ride with Morgan Blackgoat, as Inga, during a rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain High School production of “Young Frankenstein” at TMHS on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

“It’s got something for everyone,” he said.

Know & Go

What: “Young Frankenstein”

When: 7 p.m. April 25, 26 and 27, and 2 p.m. April 27 and 28.

Where: Thunder Mountain High School

Admission: Tickets cost $20 for adult and $10 for high school or college students.

The show is recommended for those 13 and older.


• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


Callum Marks, right, as Frederick Frankenstein, chases after Elizabeth Price, as Elizabeth Benning, during a rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain High School production of “Young Frankenstein” at TMHS on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Callum Marks, right, as Frederick Frankenstein, chases after Elizabeth Price, as Elizabeth Benning, during a rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain High School production of “Young Frankenstein” at TMHS on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

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