Dr. Vicky Frankenstein is a nice old gal, or is it ghoul? She spies on her neighbors from her room upstairs. She’s busy eavesdropping through the air vent! Are you hungry? At least she’ll share her protein bars. What if you suddenly breathe your last? She’ll bring you back to life!
The latest version of the Frankenstein myth is a very clever retelling of author Mary Shelley’s 200 year old classic. Playwright Mac Rogers’ latest sci fi offering entitled “Frankenstein Upstairs” increases the creative foothold he established with his Honeycomb Trilogy. Each project has been staged at Richard Mazda’s Secret Theatre.
Producer Sean Williams and Director Jordana Williams, through Gideon Productions, maintain a desperately needed creative outlet on this side of the East River. The result is their mesmerizingly effective production which runs through the end of the month at 4402 23rd Street inLong IslandCity.
At Friday’s performance, the four members of the ensemble provided a riveting view of life with a bizarre twist. Autumn Dornfeld’s character, Sophie, is intelligent, organized, sometimes neurotic and very devoted to her partner, Marisol (Diana Oh). However, Marisol is Sophie’s reverse image- not cerebral, very disorganized, and too immature to be neurotic.
Their good friend Taylor (Rob Maitner) is extremely insightful but is completely blind. We watch as their lives are seriously interrupted by enigmatic Dr. Vicky Frankenstein (Kristen Vaughan).
As usual, the caliber of acting is extremely high. Professional credits are extensive. So, is this a tale of choices, as the playwright suggests? Let’s add searching to the list. Dornfeld’s character, through her endless lists and obsessive worrying, is searching for some kind of stability. Oh’s character seeks instability with her intentional procrastination. How fittingly ironic that their mutual search for stability is achieved by cheating the only constant—Death!
Maitner’s character, who has lost his physical vision, still has the strongest insight of all. His search involves revealing his real identity. After all, his character has achieved fame with a pseudonym. And my personal favorite, Doc Frankenstein? You just gotta love her. All she wants is a family to call her own. It doesn’t matter how many laws of nature she violates.
Clearly, “Frankenstein Upstairs” is a must see. Call the box office at (718) 392-0722 or surf to firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.