Art-In-Relation Presents Lippa's THE WILD PARTY and FRANKENSTEIN - A NEW MUSICAL
A Long Beach based performing arts company ventures into Hollywood to present two back-to-back productions. Art-In-Relation presents, currently running at the Dorie Theater, Andrew Lippa's Wild Party with dates from now through October 2nd. See the website, http://artinrelation.com for more details. The following weekend, opening October 7th, will be Frankenstein - A New Musical.
While the show may be "a new musical" to many people, it is not new to Art-In-Relation as it was the first production the company produced back in 2014 - 7 years after the work had seen its original run Off-Broadway. Now, two years later, the two producers - Jonas Sills and Ray Buffer, create a new encore run, this time in tinseltown, inside an intimate theatre, for its Hollywood/LA professional premiere.
In this stage adaptation of Frankenstein, authors Mark Baron, Jeffrey Jackson, and Gary P. Cohen have sought to create a work that was uniquely faithful to Shelley's original novel while offering a bold, new experience for modern theater audiences. To do so, they have broken with many of the conventions of musical theater to re-imagine the classic allegory as a "memory play" in which time and space is fluid, and in which people and places come instantly alive in the mind of the story's protagonist, Victor Frankenstein--and vanish just as quickly. The result is a thrilling "mindscape" that brings the timeless myth of Frankenstein to life as never before.
Director, Ray Buffer's vision for this production is to create a sense that the people onstage are ghosts in a timeless, gothic limbo - a personal Hell or purgatory, from which they all must reenact the story of Victor Frankenstein's rise and fall.
?A long time ago - north of the Arctic Circle, a sailing vessel comes upon a man adrift on a section of ice, "a wretch... near death." His name is Victor Frankenstein, and he proceeds to tell the ship's captain, Robert Walton, the horrifying tale of his twisted life. Victor is the scion of a prominent family of Geneva, Switzerland, where he enjoyed a childhood of wealth and privilege. As a young boy, he exhibits a brilliant mind and a gift for the natural sciences, and his parents, Alphonse and Caroline, dote on him adoringly. Their family soon swells to include Elizabeth--an orphaned waif whom Victor's parents adopt as their ward--and later William, Victor's much-younger brother. Victor's brother in spirit is Henry Clerval, his childhood friend, and he, Victor, and Elizabeth forge deep bonds of friendship from their earliest days.
Victor's thirst for knowledge leads him on a quest to master the secrets of life and death. A tragic event galvanizes his mission: His beloved mother perishes of scarlet fever--but not before uttering her fondest wish: that Victor and Elizabeth one day be married. When grown, Victor seeks to further his study of the sciences at the University at Ingolstadt, Germany, but vows to one day return to Elizabeth to fulfill the promise of a life together. At the University, Victor's ideas for unlocking the mysteries of life are met with scorn and ridicule by his professors, so he continues his quest in secrecy. He endeavors to create life where there was none--to reanimate the dead. At the public hanging of a criminal he finds the primary vessel of his grand experiment. He claims the body of the condemned man and sets to work.
For many months, Victor toils in a clandestine laboratory to create what he hopes will be the perfect human--a giant, fashioned from the body of the executed criminal and other limbs and organs purloined from gallows and graveyards. One November night, he harnesses the awesome force of an electrical storm to breathe life into his creation. But when his creature comes to life, it is not as the perfect human he envisioned, but as a hideous beast. Thus unfurls the timeless, cautionary tale of Victor Frankenstein, whose noble dreams of grandeur unleash instead a litany of terror and tragedy. Before it is done, everything in his privileged world will be torn asunder, as Victor and his creature are pit against one another in an epic and deadly war of wills that will lead them across the continent and ultimately to the ends of the earth.
Bringing the story to the Complex Theater's "Flight" stage in La La Land, is a powerful creative team, many doing multiple duties. Director/Producer Ray Buffer also appears as Frankenstein's monster, "The Creature", but is backed up ably by his understudy - Mark Lopez (ensemble) who will appear in at least 4 of the 19 performances as The Creature. Assistant Director and Stage Manager, Eric Bridges provides calm and organization in a complex production. Choreographer and ensemble member, Jocelyn Sanchez creates sublime movement that underscores the emotion and delivers surprises and depth. Jonas Sills not only is the Executive Producer, but Music Director as well as performer, playing Victor Frankenstein. Like Buffer, he is capably backed-up by a talented understudy, Zachary Franczak (who normally plays Captain Robert Walton) - and he will be playing Victor at least 4 out of the 19 performances. Making up the rest of the dynamic ensemble cast are Jon Peterson, Ciara D'Anella (Mother), Justin W. Yu (Henry), Kailey Hewitt (Elizabeth), Mallory Staley (Justine), Marc Oka (Blind Man), Colin Eaton & Bradley Bundlie (alternating as Young Victor/William), David Michael Treviño (Father), Megan Makin (Agatha), and additional ensemble, Stephanie Dietz, and Ashley De Silva. Lily Mitriv is the costume designer, Todd Kramer is providing Lighting Design, Byron Batista will be contributing wig and makeup design, and EuGene McDonald has created the sets. Heidi Ornelas-Sills is the House and Box Office Manager.
A story of life, love, Promethean dreams and Faustian horror, Frankenstein explores the full gamut of human experience like no other novel ever written. Forget all you have seen in the movies--this is not a Hollywood scare-fest populated by lumbering ghouls and wild-eyed maniacs. This is Mary Shelley's original, brilliant, romantic terror--a dark vision of what lies at the depths of the human soul and what happens when its full power is unleashed.
Performance dates are October 7th through 30th, 2016 with Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday's performances at 8pm, and additional matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm. The venue is The Complex - Hollywood - Flight Theater, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90038. Tickets can be purchased by calling 323-320-2898 or by visiting http://ArtInRelation.com.
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