Is it pronounced Franken-steen or Franken-stine? Bryan DeBaets wants to settle this once and for all.
“STEEN!” he says.
The Selma actor should know. He’s playing Frederick Frankenstein in a new production of the musical “Young Frankenstein” that opens Friday, April 24, at the Selma Arts Center. (The question of pronunciation is one of a torrent of gags from the 1974 Mel Brooks cult-favorite movie.)
We caught up with DeBaets via email to ask about the show.
Question: Give us a brief synopsis.
Answer: Frederick Frankenstein is a respected medical scientist with a family background in the occult. After his grandfather passes away, he has to go to Transylvania to settle the estate. No matter how he tries to avoid it, he follows in his grandfather’s footsteps and creates a monster. Along the way, he meets a lot of very strange and funny characters.
What is your favorite moment in the stage production?
The song “Life, Life.” Frederick is bringing the monster to life and praying that the fates will aid him. It’s one of the few serious moments in the play, and the music is amazing. My favorite non-musical moment is when Frederick is stuck in the room with the monster and is in full-blown hysterics after telling Frau, Inga and Igor to not let him out under any circumstances. Working on that scene had us all laughing till our sides hurt.
•Read the extended interview with Bryan DeBaets here