04 November 2009

The Hypocrites' Frankenstein

The Hypocrites has become one of our favorite Chicago theater companies--it's gotten so we'd hate to miss any of its productions. So that meant we went to see Frankenstein at MCA a couple of weeks ago, even though Frankenstein is not one of my favorite stories, and it seemed likely that the performance would be made especially spooky since it was running during the Halloween season.

Indeed, the production included lots of creepy touches, not least, a bunch of disturbing dolls hanging from the ceiling, as well as plenty of blood, and an old black and white Frankenstein movie playing overhead pretty much throughout. Like Oedipus, which we saw last season, it was performed in "promenade" style--meaning the play goes on as the audience promenades around the "stage." Also like Oedipus, anachronisms mixed with literary and historic references--you often weren't quite sure where/when you were supposed to be. Ultimately, though, as has happened for us in every Hypocrites show, we were finally, inescapably moved: the story was retold, and somehow strengthened by the fringe-y stuff.

While I liked other Hypocrites productions better (again, Frankenstein is not a favorite story of mine), Victor liked this one best (at least until I reminded him of Threepenny Opera), and we look forward to seeing what the company does with No Exit and Cabaret later this season.

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