Review: All Girl Frankenstein (The Chicago Mammals)

| November 4, 2013 | 2 Comments
Amy E. Harmon and Sarah Koerner star in The Chicago Mammals' "All Girl Frankenstein," adapted and directed by Bob Fisher. (photo credit: Bob Fisher)        
      
All Girl Frankenstein

Adapted and Directed by Bob Fisher
From the classic novel by Mary Shelley
at Zoo Studios, 4001 N. Ravenswood (map)
thru Nov 23 Dec 14  |  tickets: $25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     



Now extended through December 14th!

  

A story-driven, woman-behind-the-monster gothic tale

     

The Chicago Mammals' "All Girl Frankenstein," adapted and directed by Bob Fisher, from the classic novel by Mary Shelley. (photo credit: Bob Fisher)

    
The Chicago Mammals presents
    
All Girl Frankenstein

Review by Katy Walsh 

Halloween is always a spookfest.  Neighborhoods, bars and theaters channel their inner ghoul. The Chicago Mammals have gotten into the holiday spirit presenting their own twist on a classic.  Adapter and director Bob Fisher follows up last year’s successful All Girl Moby Dick (our review) with an all female driven Frankenstein.

Liz Chase in The Chicago Mammals' "All Girl Frankenstein," adapted and directed by Bob Fisher, from the classic novel by Mary Shelley. (photo credit: Bob Fisher)The Mammals’ All Girl Project give Chicago actresses an opportunity to play roles traditionally cast with men.

In All Girl Frankenstein, Fisher stays true to novelist Mary Shelley’s classic.  This isn’t a gory Hollywood-ized knock off focused on the monster.  It’s a story of the young scientist Victor Frankenstein (played by Erin Myers).  Fisher has a steadfast Myers confront a growing fascination with bringing the dead back to life.  Fisher’s story is more cerebral-tingling than spine-tingling.  He balances the focus between morality and mortality.  We witness Myers‘ morbid obsession with creating life out of death.  Later, we see Meyers’ genuine devastation as her creation, played hauntingly by Amy E. Harmon (Creature), destroys life around her.

Harmon’s Creature is much more eloquent than the flat-headed stereotype.  She effectively moans about the humanity of her situation.  It almost sounds like Jacob Marley warning Scrooge about his sealed fate unless things change.  The audience connects with the glimmer of Harmon’s vulnerability as a corpse having a reluctant awakening.  Fisher points the blame back to Myers and his Igor-like sidekick Erin Elizabeth Orr (Clerval).  A noteworthy Orr limps and cowers into this pathetic, unhinged character.  In one scene, an infatuated Orr shares her disturbing secrets with Myers.  It’s moments like that that are more ewwww (icky) than ohhhh (scary).

Erin Orr, Amy E. Harmon, Erin Myers, Loren Jones, Jessamyn Fitzpatrick, Liz Chase, Sarah Koerner, Whitney LaMora Currier, Julie Cowden-Starbird, Anna Robinson and Sasha Wolloch in The Chicago Mammals' "All Girl Frankenstein," adapted and directed by Bob Fisher, from the classic novel by Mary Shelley. (photo credit: Bob Fisher)

Fisher’s script showcases the ‘inner demons’ in the entire Frankenstein’s household rather than just the monster on the loose.  A mother’s severe puritanical rule is countered with strong erotic impulses of her children and wards.  All Girl Frankenstein is not your typical monster flick.  The gothic tale is a story-driven, woman-behind-the-monster play.  Although I was creeped out, I was never frightened.          

POST SHOW NOTE:  Walking from the bus, I did get spooked by someone dragging their leg behind me.  I thought it was Harmon but it was only a Halloween reveler!

  
Rating: ★★★
  
   

All Girl Frankenstein continues through November 23rd December 14th at Zoo Studios, 4001 N. Ravenswood, Suite 205 (map), with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm.  Tickets are $25, and are available online through BrownPaperTickets.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at ChicagoMammals.com(Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes, includes an intermission)

The Chicago Mammals' "All Girl Frankenstein," adapted and directed by Bob Fisher, from the classic novel by Mary Shelley. (photo credit: Bob Fisher) The Chicago Mammals' "All Girl Frankenstein," adapted and directed by Bob Fisher, from the classic novel by Mary Shelley. (photo credit: Bob Fisher) The Chicago Mammals' "All Girl Frankenstein," adapted and directed by Bob Fisher, from the classic novel by Mary Shelley. (photo credit: Bob Fisher)
Erin Myers in The Chicago Mammals' "All Girl Frankenstein," adapted and directed by Bob Fisher, from the classic novel by Mary Shelley. (photo credit: Bob Fisher) Liz Chase and Erin Myers in The Chicago Mammals' "All Girl Frankenstein," adapted and directed by Bob Fisher, from the classic novel by Mary Shelley. (photo credit: Bob Fisher)

Photos by Bob Fisher


     

artists

cast

Erin Myers* (Victor Frankenstein), Amy E. Harmon (Creature), Liz Chase*, Julie Cowden, Jessamyn Fitzpatrick, Loren Jones, Sarah Koerner*, Whitney LaMora, Erin Orr*, Anna Robinson, Sasha Wolloch, Paige Wood Reilly, Rose Sengenberger, Hilary Williams, Paige Wood Reilly, Brittany Dee Bodley, Krista D’Agostino.

behind the scenes

Bob Fisher (adaptor, director, photos), Nathan Wonder, Leigh Barrett, John Ross Wilson (additional collaborators)

* = Chicago Mammals company member

The Chicago Mammals' "All Girl Frankenstein," adapted and directed by Bob Fisher, from the classic novel by Mary Shelley. (photo credit: Bob Fisher)  Erin Orr in The Chicago Mammals' "All Girl Frankenstein," adapted and directed by Bob Fisher, from the classic novel by Mary Shelley. (photo credit: Bob Fisher) 

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Category: 2013 Reviews, Adaptation, Katy Walsh, Mammals, The, New Work, World Premier, Zoo Studio

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  1. […] Cait is enriched by her friend, Rose Sengenberger, and her performance in 3 Girl Frankenstein. […]

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