BWW Review: FRANKENSTEIN at McCarter is a Beautiful Creation

Article Pixel

BWW Review: FRANKENSTEIN at McCarter is a Beautiful CreationLookingglass Theatre Company's production of FRANKENSTEIN, now running at McCarter's Mathews Theatre, is exquisite. Forget green monsters and macabre plundering of graveyards, this production, whose script was adapted from the novel by director David Catlin, is as much about beauty and creation as it is about the abyss of death and loss.

It is also a masterful theatrical production, the kind that makes theatre greater than the sum of its parts. The script, which weaves Mary Shelley's life into the story, illuminates the novel FRANKENSTEIN and the woman who wrote it. Mary Shelley, played by an enthralling Cordelia Dewdney, flows between storyteller and character, at times orchestrating events, at other times receiving the blows of loss and rejection. Is she the monster or the Doctor? The grieving mother or daughter?

She is all of them.

"I'm fascinated by the blur between Mary Shelley's story of creation, rejection, and destruction and her own life of love, loss, and abandonment. How does the human heart survive desolation and misery?" notes director/adaptor David Catlin. "This is a story that continues to unsettle us."

McCarter Theatre Center Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann added, "When I heard that David Catlin was adapting FRANKENSTEIN through the lens of Mary Shelley's life and experience, my heart started to pound because it was such an exciting idea. The artistry of Lookingglass plus the genius of Mary Shelley seemed to me to be a perfect marriage. I believe that this story's extraordinary power will blow the roof off of this theater."

The stellar cast includes Walter Briggs (Percy Bysshe Shelley), Debo Balogun (Dr. John Polidori), Cordelia Dewdney (Mary Shelley), Keith D. Gallagher (Lord Byron), and Amanda Raquel Martinez (Claire Clairmont). All are making their McCarter Theatre Center debuts.

The creative team includes Daniel Ostling (scenic design), Sully Ratke (costume design), William C. Kirkham (lighting design), Rick Sims (sound design/composition), and Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (circus and movement design).

Ticket Information and Performance Schedule
Lookingglass Theatre Company's production of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein runs October 15 through November 3 in the Matthews Theatre. Tickets start at $25 and are available online at, by phone at (609) 258-2787, or in person at the McCarter Ticket Office, located at 91 University Place in Princeton.

The production's running time is 2 hours, 20 minutes including one 15 minute intermission.

Photo Credit: Liz Lauren

Related Articles View More New Jersey Stories   Shows

From This Author Sarah Vander Schaaff