Monday, November 19, 2007

Plays: Young Frankenstein, old Albee

The biggest, strike-unaffected musical on the planet, and a fusion of old and new from the venerable Edward Albee, at the New York Theater News website.

Earlier this evening I saw New York's other Frankenstein musical, now playing at the 37 Arts. The potential for vampire tuners has seemingly been staked but to judge from these two stiffs there's not a lot of life in Shelley's creature for the stage. Neither holds a candle to my fond memories of the non-musical Frankenstein that opened and closed one night in January 1981, a legendary bust I saw in Christmas week previews, to the undying envy of my theater-loving friends. That one had David Dukes as a dashing Romantic period doctor, John Glover, Dianne Wiest, some nifty Bran Ferren effects and the great John Carradine, a veteran of the Universal Frankenstein films, as the blind hermit; these have spoofery barely warmed over for the stage, a monster from the Crunch gym (Steve Blanchard, pictured), and the slight and petulant Hunter Foster as a none-too-Romantic doctor, and not a memorable song between them. Werewolves, anyone?

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