2015 Production:
VENUS FESTIVAL PRESENTS:

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN
~ an experiment in intimacy


Written & Directed by Sharon Fogarty

Featuring: 
MaryBeth Schroeder      Martin Everall     
Savannah Graner
      Paul Fraccalvieri      Ebony Topaz Pullum     Saki Masuda Aoyama     Andrew Guay
David Holland      Julie Lauren Stevens      Jessie Winograd

Musicians: Aston Hollins, Polly Korbel, S.J. Fogarty

Festival Dates:
Monday, February 16 @ 6:15 PM
Friday, February 20 @ 9:00 PM
Sunday, February 22 @ 4:30 PM


Two Added Performances:
Sunday, March 1 @ 2:00 PM

and
Wednesday, March 4 @ 6:00 PM


$20 at door or http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1168985 

Robert Moss Theatre
440 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor
New York City, U.S.A.




"Powerful, haunting, darkly funny, a ritualized birthing, a mythic forcing of the raw life force of Mary into a mold she did not choose....a strong feminist theme."
Culture Vulture

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2001 Production:

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN ~ AN EXPERIMENT IN INTIMACY

CULTURE VULTURE, New York, September 25, 2001 - Review by Roy Sorrels
Bride of Frankenstein ~ an experiment in intimacy.
Manhattan Theatre Source, Estrogenius 2001
September 2001
Manhattan Theatre Source's Estrogenius 2001, created by Fiona Jones, is a festival of plays written and mostly directed by women. The current play in the series is Bride of Frankenstein, subtitled an experiment in intimacy!! It is an experiment that succeeds and fails in just about equal measure.
A simple and stark setting that depicts Dr. Frankenstein's famous laboratory and other locales takes advantage of the exposed brick walls of this tiny, 50 seat theatre, with black industrial netting forming a bulging ceiling through which light seems to struggle to reach the stage. Six actors in simple costumes provide an a cappella background to Dr. Frankenstein's unwrapping of his creation, made up of assorted body parts. His creation, later named Mary, is played by Sharon Fogarty.
Fogarty is the best thing about the play, for which she wrote book, music, and lyrics, created the choreography, and plays the starring role. For a while this anti-musical, as she calls it in program notes, focuses on the halting, touching efforts of the character to learn how to be a functioning woman--a woman, that is, as defined by the man who created her. In this it is powerful, haunting, darkly funny, a ritualized birthing, a mythic forcing of the raw life force of Mary into a mold she did not choose. It's a strong feminist theme and, undiluted, could provide a new way of looking at an old subject.
Mary starts out with her face wrapped in gauze. She is tied to a treadmill, and she spends much of the first part of the play there, tied up part of the time, learning to walk part of the time. It is an apt visual metaphor for getting with the program, falling into step. Teachers arrive to show her how to properly walk, talk, hold a parasol, flatter men and make snide comments about other women, and throughout all of this the satire holds.

It is later that the peripheral scenes distract more and more from the ritual satiric power of the play's opening scenes. A car ride to an art opening, the picking up of hitch hikers that add little to the meaning of the play, and an art opening with dancing statues all seem suspiciously like padding added to turn a too short one-act into an "evening" of theatre. Jokes and characters that must have seemed hilarious in rehearsal don't hold up on the same stage with the expectations created by the strong opening scenes. 
Director Andrew Frank approaches this diverse material in an imaginative way, using the space, the actors, and the few props in often strikingly creative and effective ways. He is a director whose work bears seeking out. Sharon Fogarty is the star and the compelling strength of her acting and dance can hold an audience mesmerized. Another stand-out is Jason Howard as Iggy, one of the Doctor's less than successful creations. Laura Walczak plays multiple roles with a strong command of voice, movement, and acting.
In off-off-Broadway theatres such as Manhattan Theatre Source a playgoer quite literally pays his or her money and takes his or her chances. Nothing is predictable, and that's part of the excitement; there are no Neil Simon/glitzy musical sure things. As week four of a very busy and courageously ambitious festival, Bride of Frankenstein is presumed to have had minimal rehearsal time on the stage, and minimal tech and dress rehearsals. What is opening night off-off would be, uptown, the first of numerous preview performances.
Bride of Frankenstein has its flaws. The stitches show and it sometimes lurches when it should glide, but it has sufficient substance and style to note Sharon Fogarty as an artist to watch.

Photos by Jef Betz 2001.
Sharon Fogarty as Mary.

Sharon Fogarty as Mary.

Renée Torrière as Miriam.

Renée Torrière as Miriam.

Rachel Kramer as Mary and Jason Grossman as Victor Frankenstein in 1995 production.

Rachel Kramer as Mary and Jason Grossman as Victor Frankenstein in 1995 production.

Jason Howard as Iggy.

Jason Howard as Iggy.

Jason Grossman as Victor Frankenstein.

Jason Grossman as Victor Frankenstein.

Laura Walczak as Vernice.

Laura Walczak as Vernice.