Monday, February 16, 2015

Sharon Fogarty's Bride of Frankenstein

I saw Sharon Fogarty's Bride of Frankenstein tonight. I saw her original version way back when at Theatresource. It begat in me a love of the second movement of Beethovan's 7th Symphony.

My thoughts about the show are disjointed. I suspect that was the intent of the production. Meaning, that it was created to confuse me. You know, I wrote that just now to be amusing but there is something about Sharon Fogarty's work which has always spoken to me, like it's work that is just for me. And I have to presume that is true for much of her audience. It seems like "oh look, she made this for me" even though any rational person would have to conclude that she's doing it for her.
Catholic, identity, women, image, monster. I don't even know what it's all about. Mary Beth Schroeder is simply un-human as the monster. From the very opening when she is nothing but an open mouth, a baby gurgling, perhaps a nascent Elephant Man but of the horror by human and not divine creation. Her mouth becomes limbs, becomes speech, becomes understanding other people and/or understanding herself. I don't know. Her physicality was the descant over which the music and the story played.

There's a fairly large chorus. Sharon has always done something with casting that's consistently blown me away. All the actors were very interesting to me and they made me want to know so much more about their characters. Dangerous territory, eh? When every chorus member who trots onto stage can be so fascinating and yet have such depths and secrets that one wants to follow them home, live in their worlds and their works -- it is then you are opening up beyond the simple four walls of the stage, into worlds you cannot control. It is beautiful.

You know, one thing about Theatresource is that our space was always difficult for dance. My recollection of the first version of this show is that Sharon had choreographed the dance to be rather restrained. I felt this show opened somewhat, could be played somewhat wider (the floor at Theatresource was never a good dance flooring and I always worried about dancer's feet on that deck.) But still the "restraint" is actually a part of the tension of the piece. Mary and her beloved monster can run outside chasing cars but their souls are constrained to such small spaces. As they are.
As they are.

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

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

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