Hello, friends! Aaron Taylor here. By day, I’m the Technical Director here at The PAC. For the next few weeks, I also have a new, exciting, more-than-part-time job: Director of our PAC Pro-Am Production of Young Frankenstein. For me, taking on the task of bringing this comedy juggernaut to the stage is serious business.
My oldest brother, Tony was born in 1960. That makes him 14 years older than me. Growing up, I fuzzily remember Tony living with us, before he married and moved out. I do remember that Tony was the funny one in the family. My most vivid memories come later in life, when my other brother, Eric and I would anticipate Tony’s visits, so we could learn new bits, hear him talk about new comedies he’d seen, and take every chance to study at the feet of the Master.
Among other comedy classics, one of Tony’s favorites and most often quoted was Young Frankenstein. The Mel Brooks directed film came out in 1974, the year of my birth. According to Mel, Gene Wilder, who at the time was working with him on Blazing Saddles, convinced him to join the project with a simple pitch: What if the grandson of Dr. Frankenstein wanted nothing to do with the family whatsoever. He was ashamed of those wackos.
That’s all it took.
Long before Eric and I saw Young Frankenstein, we knew the lines. Tony loved the movie and found ways to always slip quotes and memorable lines into everyday conversation. As we grew older and starting watching the film as regularly as Tony, my brother and I did the same.
Tony died unexpectedly in 2006. But he talks to me all the time, through Caddyshack, Firesign Theatre, Meatballs, This is Spinal Tap, The Big Lebowski, and especially Young Frankenstein. And now I pore over the script for the musical version of Young Frankenstein, and find myself wondering, “What would Tony think is funny?”
So as I enter these early, wobbling rehearsals and barrel towards our opening night, I keep the voice of Tony close. I’m doing my best to uphold the comedic legacy of a film that so many people hold in the highest es
teem, bring you some fresh new takes to keep things hilarious, and to create something that would make my brother laugh.
I also have an older sister who would punch me in the arm if I failed to mention her.
This month the PAC Kid Spotlight shines on Central Hardin High School student Kelsey Mays. Kelsey has just been cast in her first PAC ProAm production and she is thrilled to be part Young Frankenstein’s ensemble. Learn more about Kelsey and our other PAC Kids.