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Frankenstein Reviews: It’s alive!

“A great adaptation of the classic novel.”

So says Sean Collier on Pittsburgh Today, and it’s just one of the many strong notices that Prime Stage Theatre’s Frankenstein has garnered since its opening on November 5.

You can catch the entire Pittsburgh Today review by clicking the player at the bottom of this post.

<<< Everett Lowe as the Creature and Maddie Kocur as Justine Moritz.

Also out is a strong review from Broadway World, which has some terrific things to say about Everett Lowe’s performance as The Creature:

The show is at its best in any sequence involving Lowe, whose physicality is somewhere between a jungle animal and the carefully precise danger of a Michael Myers type.

Gone are the green skin, the bolts and the stitches of modern myth; Connolly’s adaptation makes it very clear (without using twenty-first century terms) that Frankenstein isn’t a stitched-up corpse or even a cyborg but an android, a truly artificial, synthesized form of life using biomechanical engineering. With his menacing stature, aquiline nose and deep, deep voice, Everett Lowe gives the great Clancy Brown a run for his money in the realm of enormous, well-spoken sepulchral bruisers.

You can read all of Greg Kerestan’s Broadway World review here.

Isaac Miller as Victor Frankenstein and Everett Lowe as the Creature.>>>

Also praising Lowe’s performance (as well as those of the other actors) is Clair DeMarco, who reviewed the play for ‘Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh’s Late-Night Talk Show:

Lowe is outstanding as the creature. He is not one-dimensional but clever, cunning, cruel and confused.

[Isaac] Miller as Victor displays a range of emotions from a stable, normal human wanting to create a perfect human to an almost crazed individual as he pursues the creature. 

The review also praises the work of Lighting Designer Hope Debellius and Sound Designer Mark Whitehead. You can read it all here.

<<< Evocative lighting by Hope Debellius complements scenic design by Tucker Topel in the opening scene, set in Lord Byron’s mansion on a dark and stormy night, with Mary Godwin (Stacia Paglieri) and Claire Clairmont (Maddie Kocur) seated left, Lord Byron (Michael McBurney) standing center, and John Polidori (Adam Selignson) and Percy Shelley (Isaac Miller) seated right.

In addition, naming the show its “top pick” for “things to do this weekend in Pittsburgh” is a review in Pittsburgh Magazine.

In the hands of Prime Stage Theater — via an adaptation by Lawrence C. Connolly — “Frankenstein” is a story about the inability to control one’s own creation — and that narrative applies to both Victor Frankenstein, the obsessive scientist who builds a living creature from artificial materials, and Shelley, the author who dreams up a tale scarier than the gothic ghost stories of her era. In framing scenes, we see Shelley conceive of a clever, creepy tale, only to surprise herself as it gets darker and more sinister; meanwhile, Frankenstein refuses to consider what will become of his creation should he succeed, only to find that his monster learns violence and brutality from the humans he encounters.

That review is available here.

“It’s alive!” Isaac Miller as Victor Frankenstein prepares to deliver the “spark of being” to the “lifeless clay.” >>>

The show has also been generating fine buzz in the blogosphere, as is the case with a post from Frankenstein aficionado Maxwell Cheney who writes the Rondo-Award-winning blog The Drunken Severed Head. He posted one of the production’s first reviews on Facebook after attending the preview. Here’s part of what he has to say:

This new adaptation has some fresh and interesting features. The ship that Frankenstein is taken aboard is cleverly named the Prometheus, Frankenstein’s mother’s ghost acts as Victor’s personal Greek chorus, the mate for the Creature meets a particularly chilling end, and the ancient idea of the four bodily humours is used in a novel way. Most importantly, there is an effective confrontation between two of the major characters that has not appeared in any single adaptation of the novel that I have ever heard of.

You can read his entire post here.

Prime Stage’s Frankenstein continues through this weekend at Pittsburgh’s New Hazlett Theatre. Tickets and information are available at the Prime Stage website.

Still not convinced? Check out the video review from Pittsburgh Today Live by clicking the player below.

The consensus is clear. “It’s alive!”




2 responses to “Frankenstein Reviews: It’s alive!

  1. Maxwell Cheney Avatar
    Maxwell Cheney

    Congratulations Lawrence on the success of your creation – your retelling of Mary’s unusual life and your new and fresh interpretation of her now-mythic novel!

    1. Lawrence C. Connolly Avatar
      Lawrence C. Connolly

      Hello, Maxwell! It was terrific meeting you at the preview and talking about all things Frankenstein. Thanks so much for spreading the word!

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