Wednesday, March 16, 2011

'Magical' theater

By Meredith Deliso

It’s alive — again!

The second part of Rabbit Hole Ensemble’s “Frankenstein” gender-bending triptych  picks up where the Kensington theater company left off last fall, as “Doctor Frankenstein’s Magical Creature” comes to the Old First Reformed Church in Park Slope this month.

The piece, written by Stanton Wood, is part of a year-long exploration of Mary Shelley’s classic, starting with last fall’s “The Tragic Story of Dr. Frankenstein,” which told the story from the doctor’s point of view. In this new installment, which opens tomorrow, the point of view switches to the monster’s — which isn’t that different from how the book itself is also structured.

“I’m sort of amazed at how original ‘Frankenstein’ was — not just in subject, but in structure of narrative,” said director Edward Elefterion. “There’s a lot of different lenses that the story gets refracted through. I’m excited about the potential storytelling you could do with that fractured narrative.”         

The production does have some poetic license with Shelley’s 19th-century classic, as it casts women in the traditionally male roles of the doctor and monster, making for a more maternal dynamic.

“The not-so-subtle change really wakes the material up,” said Elefterion. “When you have a woman creating it [the monster], it becomes very much a mother-daughter relationship and emotionally packed in a way that is not typical of Frankenstein’s story.”

If you’re late to the party and missed the ensemble’s first installment, don’t feel like you’re out of the loop, said Elefterion.

“It will be appreciated by people who saw the first one, as well as people who are coming to it fresh,” said Elefterion, who will run the two productions together for the third installment this fall. “It’s designed to be a play that stands alone.”

“Doctor Frankenstein’s Magical Creature” at the Old First Reformed Church [729 Carroll St. near Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, (800) 838-3006], March 17-April 2, Thursday-Saturday at 8 pm. Tickets $18, $15 for students and seniors. For info, visit


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