Actor ready for electrifying performance in Drury Lane's 'Young Frankenstein'

2014-01-23T00:00:00Z Actor ready for electrifying performance in Drury Lane's 'Young Frankenstein'By Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Actor Travis Taylor stars as The Monster in the new production of the Mel Brooks Broadway hit "Young Frankenstein" at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook opening tonight for a run that continues until March 16.

The show closes just a day before St. Patrick's Day, the holiday when his green makeup would be a natural hit celebrating Irish tradition.

"I think my height has helped me with this role since I'm 6-feet 4-inches  and then once I'm in costume and makeup, I'm 6-feet 8-inches," said Taylor, who is originally from Dallas, Texas and now calls Chicago home.

"My dad is a big fan of Mel Brooks, so my family is flying in to see me in this show."

For this Drury Lane Theatre run, Taylor is joined by fellow cast members Devin DeSantis as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, Jeff Dumas as Igor, Johanna McKenzie Miller as Elizabeth Benning and Paula Scrofano as Frau Blücher.

The production is directed by Drury Lane Theatre Artistic Director William Osetek and choreographed by Jeff Award winner Tammy Mader.

Based on the 1974 film of the same name, this stage musical is the silly re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend.

"I love working at the Drury Lane space and in the past, I was in the productions of 'Sugar,' 'Sweeney Todd' and 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,' " said Taylor, a 2010 graduate of the Roosevelt Theatre Conservatory in Chicago.

It was while appearing in the 2012 production of "Sundays in the Park with George" at Chicago Shakespeare Theater that Taylor said he earned his Actors Equity Association membership card.

He also thanks Chicago Shakespeare Theatre for helping him prepare for his role in layered makeup and heavy costuming as the Frankenstein Monster.

"In the summer of 2012, I played the Beast in Chicago Shakespeare's production of 'Beauty and the Beast," Taylor said.

"When you're wearing a heavy costume, you learn to use mannerisms to bring a character to life and that's how I bring my monster to life."

Performances for "Young Frankenstein" are 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, in addition to the 8 p.m. Thursday performances, 8 p.m. Fridays, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 6 p.m. Sundays. Lunch and dinner theater packages range from $50 to $74 depending on the day of the week. Student tickets start as low as $30 and Senior Citizen tickets start as low as $32 for matinees and $47 for a matinee luncheon package. FYI: (630) 530-0111 or drurylane.com.

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