Story: Theresa Campbell
Joan Knapton, the producer behind KC Theatrical Productions, loves to bring top Broadway shows to the local stage, and she’s now preparing for the October production of Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” in The Villages.
KC is an acronym for Knapton and Company.
“I always produce the shows or direct them and have somebody with me, another director or a very strong choreographer. It has been great,” she says, recalling talented choreographer Jim Caisse had performers kicking up their heels in “A Chorus Line.”
“I love working with different directors. Each one has a different approach, and it’s always an education for me and educational for the cast,” she says. “It’s exciting what they bring to the table.”
Her Villages thespians recently finished “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Call It What You Will.”
“I love working with people, and I enjoy the creativity,” Joan says. “It’s been nice to discover how many talented people there are who can do all of this stuff. Many of them have done it before, or they have always wanted to do singing and dancing, and now they are able to do it here.”
“Young Frankenstein,” a musical adaptation of Brooks’ classic 1974 film, is a new genre for KC Theatrical Productions.
“I have always done heavy shows with a message, like ‘Les Miserables,’ and ‘Man of La Mancha,’” she says. “I’ve never done a comedy, and this script is funny. It’s a remarkable Mel Brooks show.”
Tim Casey is directing “Young Frankenstein.”
“We felt it would be a great October show and fit the Halloween spirit,” he says.
“It’s a very funny show and I think it will attract a wide audience,” adds Mark “The Skipper” Finkle, a consultant for KC Productions. “A lot of people know the film but may not have seen the Broadway musical.”
“Young Frankenstein” was nominated for several Tony Awards and the musical finished its U.S. road tour in 2009. It’s now slated to make its premiere in the United Kingdom in August and run through the fall.
About 30 people will be in The Villages production, set for 7pm Oct. 15-17, along with a matinee show to be announced on one of the dates, at the Savannah Center, 1575 Buena Vista Blvd. “Evita” or Brooks’ “The Producers” will be featured in March 2018.
“This gives my life passion,” Joan says. “This has been my purpose and I love it.”