Friday, October 12, 2007
The modern Prometheus rebounds
Drill down far enough into the Playbill feature on Young Frankenstein, and you'll learn some fascinating facts about recent stage appearances of our favorite monster.
• In 1980-81, a special-effects-packed non-musical, Frankenstein, by Victor Gialanella, was, at the time, the most expensive production ever on Broadway. The flop won a Drama Desk Award for its potent lighting design.
[What this mention doesn't say is that the show closed after opening night!
• In 2001, Prometheus Dreams, a musical exploration of the material, with music by Sean Michael Flowers and book and lyrics by Patrick Vaughn, was presented by The Human Race Theatre Company in Dayton, Ohio.
• Frankenstein, the Musical, with book, music and lyrics by Robert Mitchell, played Off-Off-Broadway's Wings Theatre in 2006.
• A show called Frankenstein…do you dream? appeared as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2004, after beginning life in Canada.
• Have I Got a Girl for You! The Frankenstein Musical had an Off-Broadway run in 1986.
And of course this is just New York. Communities everywhere seem to foster their own local versions of the Monster Story around this time of year.
What is it about this myth that makes so many creative souls want to tell it again and again?
With every retelling we learn something new . . . about our monster and ourselves.