Terrific Musical Direction Brings ‘Young Frankenstein’ To Life

Young Frankeinstein’ Musical Director Gretchen Amstutz conducts in the pit. Photo by Larry Gibbons


Musical Director Gretchen Amstutz brings magical sounds to the stage in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein this weekend at Smith Auditorium.

Amstutz has been involved with the Los Alamos Light Opera for 30 years, with her first contribution as being in the chorus in the 1986 production of “My Fair Lady”. Since that time, she has been involved in more than 25 shows in Los Alamos and across Northern New Mexico.

No musical could come to life if not for brilliant musical direction, such as that of Amstutz, who has been the conductor and orchestra director for many LALO productions over the past 20 years. “Carousel” (1993) marked her first musical direction for LALO. Other shows include “The Secret Garden” (2000), “The King and I”(2002), “The Music Man” (2004), and most recently, “The Mystery Of Edwin Drood”(2013).

She and LALO President Laurie Tomlinson first met while both where in the chorus of “My Fair Lady” in 1986 and have collaborated together in recent years on three LALO productions, including “Annie Get Your Gun” (2007), “The Sound of Music” (2009), and “Into the Woods” (2011).

Amstutz also has lent her talents to the Los Alamos Little Theater, with her first show as musical director for LALT being “Taffetas”. Most recently, she was musical director/conductor for “Suessical, the Musical” and “The Spitfire Grill” (directed by Tomlinson). Amstutz has been involved in other community musical theater endeavors in northern New Mexico, including shows with The Adobe Theater and The Dixon Community Players.

Amstutz’s love of music and theater started at the age of fie, when she first studied piano and ballet. She received her BA in music at the University of Utah. She dedicates her time to bring high quality musical theater to appreciative audiences and the cast and orchestra always appreciate her patience and positive demeanor.

Amstutz and her outstanding orchestra can be heard in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, presented by the Los Alamos Light Opera at 7:30 Oct. 3, 9, 10 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 4. Tickets can be purchased at CB FOX, at the door or online at Brown Paper Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2055226.

Parents of young children should be advised that the show contains some double entendre and bawdy humor.