‘Young Frankenstein’ opens at White Theatre at the J


Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” opens

2017-18 season of The White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center


The 13th season of the White Theatre, produced by The Jewish Community Center’s Arts + Culture Department, opens Saturday evening, Nov. 3 with Mel Brooks musical, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. This hilarious musical is based on the classic Frankenstein story and adapted from the film, with Brooks comedic twist infused throughout. Evening performances at 7:30 p.m. are scheduled for Nov. 4, 9, 11, 16 & 18 with 2 p.m. matinees on Sundays Nov. 5, 12 and 19.

The White Theatre is located in the Jewish Community Campus, 5801 W. 115th St., in Overland Park, Kansas.

The musical is an adaptation of Brooks legendary film. With a book by Brooks and Thomas Meehan and music and lyrics by Brooks, audiences will roar with laughter as they follow Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein. The younger Frankenstein travels to Transylvania to inherit his family estate and zaniness ensues, complete with a tap-dancing monster.

Kansas City favorite Missy Koonce directs the J’s production and an all-local cast of talented performers.

Young Frankenstein has always been one of my all time favorite movies,” Koonce said. “That they filmed in black and white, the campy style and the Mel Brooks comic timing; were all things that I absolutely loved. We wanted to embrace that concept, really hone in on the story and try to highlight those iconic moments of the classic film.”

As part of the J’s production of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, noted Broadway and film star Roger Bart is coming to Kansas City for two special surround events. Bart starred as Dr. Frankenstein on Broadway and is best known for originating the role of Carmen Ghia in the Mel Brooks’ Broadway musical hit, THE PRODUCERS. Bart has won both Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his portrayal of Snoopy in the musical YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN.

The two events are:

  • Saturday night, Nov. 18 (post-show): Talkback with Roger Bart. The actor will share his insights about performing the role of Dr. Frankenstein and the Broadway production (Complimentary with ticket purchase).
  • Sunday, Nov. 19 at 11:30 a.m.: Brunch with Roger Bart. Enjoy a delicious kosher brunch – complete with mimosas – as Bart regales participants with tales of his acting career including his stint as Dr. Frankenstein on Broadway. Space is limited. (Tickets are $50).


Tickets for YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN are $23 for the general public, $16 for J members and $12 for students. Group and season tickets are also available. For performance, brunch tickets and reservations, please contact the White Theatre box office at The J by phone at (913) 327-8054, email boxoffice@thejkc.org or visit the box office in person form 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. week days and one hour prior to performance.

The 2017-18 White Theatre season also includes concerts to visual arts, comedic plays to thought-provoking dramas as well as dance and literature presentations. The inspirational season includes four locally produced shows, several musical concerts, a choreography showcase and a new artist-in-residence offering with the Kinnor Philharmonic.

The season includes:

  • December 2 & 3, 2017: The Sarah Play produced by the In[Heir]itance Project.
  • January 1, 2018: Kinnor Philharmonic, The J’s artists-in-residence, perform first of two concerts; the second concert is June 10, 2018.
  • January 6, 2018: YidLife Crisis-Live! starring Jamie Elman & Eli Batalion, the creators and stars of the award-winning Yiddish comedy web series YidLife Crisis.
  • February 3-18, 2018: Tony Award-winning musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (local production), directed by Steven Eubank.
  • March 17-25, 2018: The Tony-Award winning play, The Miracle Worker (local production) directed by Bill Christie.
  • April 8: Kansas City’s professional dance showcase, Open Stage at The J.
  • April 11-14: Wiesenthal, the riveting true story of Simon Wiesenthal, nicknamed the “Jewish James Bond”.
  • July 7-29, 2018: Disney’s Newsies (in collaboration with The Coterie Theatre), the captivating story of a band of underdogs who become unlikely heroes.

(Full descriptions for each event are available at TheWhiteTheatre.org. Auditions for various productions will be held throughout the year.)

Disney’s NEWSIES marks The Coterie and the White Theatre’s first partnership, as well as the Kansas City region’s first locally produced production of the Tony Award winning musical. Disney’s Newsies, based on the 1992 motion picture, features a high energy, explosive song and dance score by eight-time Academy Award® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Sister Act) and Jack Feldman and a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux FollesTorch Song Trilogy). Disney’s NEWSIES will feature a cast of all-local professional and non-professional adult and youth actors. Auditions for Disney’s NEWSIES are set for December 17 at 2 p.m. at the White Theatre.  More information on auditions for the entire 2017/18 season can be found at TheWhiteTheatre.org.

Performances for the Kinnor Philharmonic are an “add on event” to the regular season ticket.

            Discover The J’s White Theatre at 5801 West 115th, Overland Park, Kansas 66211, conveniently located at 115th & Nall.  Contact our box office at (913) 327-8054 or by email at boxoffice@thejkc.org.  The White Theatre box office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  For more information on everything Arts + Culture at The J and the White Theatre check out our website at TheWhiteTheatre.org.


(Role, performer, City of residence)

Frederick: Joell Ramsdell, Overland Park
Elizabeth: Stasha Case, Olathe
Igor: Kipp Simmons, Kansas City, KS
Inga: Ashton Botts, Kansas City, MO

Frau Blucher: Annette Cook, Olathe
The Monster: TBA
Kemp / Victor / Ensemble: Reed Uthe, Kansas City, MO
Ziggy / Ensemble: Miles Worth, Shawnee
Hermit / Ensemble: Andrea Hobley, Kansas City, MO

Matthew Koehler, Kansas City, MO

Katherine Ruprecht, Kansas City, MO

Tony Francisco, CITY

Rachel Reese, Overland Park


About “The J”

Established more than 100 years ago, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City—The J, provides a warm welcome to families of all backgrounds. The J’s all-in-one hub for health, learning and well-being elevates the lives of the community and its members with programs of excellence in fitness, sports, theatre, arts + culture, senior adult programming and youth services including summer camps and child development. Everyone can “live up” at The J, located in Overland Park, Kansas, and at thejkc.org.

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