FOREWARNED: This play contains atrocities and perversions.
It is unsuitable for children or the weak at heart.
Dr. Joseph Frankenstein
Maria Reina Duran
Juan Thomas Navarro, aka Cockatoo
Camilo Bozuffi & Salvador Mattos
President Perez & Dr. Fook
Cardinal Armitano and the
American & Russian Ambassadors
Lee Joyner & Amy Ali of Animus FX
and Cinema Makeup
Drew Dalzell & Cricket S. Myers
Jay Christian P. Africa
Roxanne Glenne Phillips
Sarah McKinley Oakes
Brandon Clark & Liesel Kopp
Mark McClain Wilson
David LM Mcintyre previously directed Valparaisoat Sacred Fools,
played "Lenny" in our production of Clive Barker's Crazyface,
and is the company's current Literary Manager.
This production is part
of EdgeFest 2003... charting the unknown. For more information call 310 281-7920
or visit www.edgeoftheworld.org
the Mainstage... Fridays
& Saturdays @ 8pm
Sundays @ 7pm (Opening Night: Thurs, Sept 25)
Sept 25 - Nov 1, 2003 Tickets: $15 Reservations: (310) 281-8337
accompanies the decadence of horror auteur Clive Barker's
"Frankenstein in Love, or The Life of Death" at Sacred Fools
Theatre. This agitprop Grand Guignol romance among the vivisected finds
Barker adjusting his customary nihilism to incorporate guerrilla Gothic
Narrated by the spectral Maria (Liesel Kopp), "Frankenstein"
transpires in an unspecified banana republic. Its dictator (Brandon Clark)
cowers in the presidential mausoleum, dreading the arrival of victorious
rebel El Coco (Daniel Lujan).
He, along with compatriot Cockatoo (Mark Weiler), seeks the laboratory of
Dr. Joseph Frankenstein (Tim Hanson). This Dr. Josef Mengele-surrogate's
experiments include ever-morphing Veronique (Andrea Osborn) and
Frankenstein's masterpiece, El Coco himself.
The Sacred Fools ghouls execute Barker's savagery with dank determination.
Jay Christian P. Africa's set, Shaun Fillion's lighting, Drew Dalzell and
Cricket S. Myers' sound, Roxanne Glenne Phillips' costumes, and the makeup
and creatures by Animus FX are uniformly impressive.
The fearless actors devour their scabrous roles. Lujan's El Coco is
Kopp's bone-dry ghost and Weiler's hapless hothead are finds, and Osborn
exhibits uncanny concentration. Other standouts include Clark, Kerr Seth
Lordygan's cardinal and Yuri Lowenthal's epidermal tailor.
However, the twisted wit and grisly frissons are undone by director David
L.M. Mcintyre's undead pacing and Barker's overwrought writing. Hanson's
Frankenstein has the heaviest didactic burden, but none are spared,
including the audience.
The trudging tempos and coagulating polemic allow trivial discrepancies to
distract. As when Lujan's flayed-skin body suit develops leprosy,
destroying the illusion, or Corey Klemow's head is skewered, risible for
the wrong reasons.
Barker's fans may find "Frankenstein" rewarding nonetheless,
albeit tame by the standards of his "Hellraiser" film franchise.
Average theatergoers must decide how much stomach churning they can take.
Leave it to
schlock horrormeister Clive Barker to come up with an appropriately
horrible take on the time-honored Frankenstein story. Directed by David LM
Mcintyre, this production of Barker’s 1982 play is chock-full of ghastly
ghouls, bloodletting and gut-wrenching screams, but it’s essentially a
shoddy affair. The setting here isn’t a gloomy, European castle, but a
Banana Republic in the midst of a coup in which “El Presidente” Perez
(Brandon Clark) is overthrown by El Coco (Daniel Lujan), who gradually
finds out that he is the creation of the infamous Dr. Frankenstein (Tim
Hanson). This revelation ultimately puts him at odds with his fellow
revolutionaries (after all, no self-respecting leader would eat human
flesh, which he does), and places him on the path to a grotesque
“reincarnation” later on. Some of the Grand Guignol antics are
carnival corny, but some are mildly amusing, like the grisly comeuppance
of a corrupt Cardinal (Kerr Seth Lordygan). Things implode completely in
Act 2, the bulk of which is focused on the romance and pending nuptials of
the Doc and the creaturely Veronique (Andrea Osborn). Kudos to Lee Joyner
and Amy Ali for their special makeup and creature effects.
Sacred Fools Theater kicks off the Halloween season with Clive Barker's
FRANKENSTEIN IN LOVE or THE LIFE OF DEATH.
The story begins in some unnamed Latin American country undergoing a rebel
takeover. Daniel Lujan plays El Coco, the rebel leader that is within the
reins of taking over the nation lead by President Perez (Brandon Clark).
El Coco is part of a group of the undead, brought back to life by Dr.
Joseph Frankenstein (Tim Hanson), a descendant of another Dr. Frankenstein
that created new beings from the dead, and is part of something called the
Auschwitx Ring. In addition to the not-so-good doctor's work, there is a
love triangle involved. Both the doctor and El Coco have their hearts and
minds set upon the same woman, Maria Reina Duran (Liesel Kopp), a 'whore'
by trade, and who may be the next 'bride of Frankenstein. In spite of this
case of love and war (so to speak), there are more of the undead to take
Baker, a writer of horror novels and screenwriter/director of such
features as Hellraiser, among others, writes this story as
one part contemporary gothic horror, and one part love horror tale.
Director David LM Mcintyre projects this play into a somewhat terrifying
and slightly grotesque fable. The 'good taste' scale is off balance, going
with the tradition of many Baker stories, and this fact rings true on the
Sacred Fools stage.
Along with the above noted cast, this production also features Andrea
Osborn, Mark Weiler, Howard Seth Cohen, Yuri Lowenthal, Kerr Seth Lordygan,
Aaron Francis, and semi-regular Sacred Fools player Corey Klemow.
This play will not be for all tastes! However, FRANKENSTEIN IN LOVE will
be the perfect production to get one in the Halloween mood without
experiencing the standard crop of jive 'spooks and ghosties' running
around and shrieking like nobody's business! Yes, this show is a bit
macabre, so leave the kiddies at home! Let them become scared in their own
Sometimes the dead would be better off staying that way. But if they did, horror-meister Clive Barker would have no gory story to tell. Instead we get Frankenstein in Love, or the Life of Death, his 1982 play about love that literally never dies. David LM McIntyre directs
- with a heavy, bloody hand - this twisted tale of the dictator (Brandon Clark) of a nameless banana republic who is overthrown by a more popular regime fronted by a charismatic rebel named El Coco (Daniel Lujan, in an overblown performance). But El Coco is not like other men; more to the point, he is like many men. Created from various body parts by the infamous Dr. Joseph Frankenstein (Tim Hanson), El Coco is both physically powerful and is losing his mind. And he is in love with another of Frankenstein's "patients," the mysterious, otherworldly Veronique (Andrea Osborn), who also adores him.
The problem is that Veronique has become the romantic obsession of her creator. Frankenstein cares not that her hair and skin change color, or that she seems to be sprouting demon parts; he is determined to marry her, even at the risk of losing El Coco, his "son." It is a match clearly doomed to hell.
Scattered like stray body parts throughout this too-long show are humorous moments
- particularly involving Clark's dual role as mortician-with-a-secret Dr. Fook
- and some interesting concepts, such as El Coco's struggle with the spirits of the two very different men who provided his hands and what they urge him to do with them. But such instances are easily lost in all the ghastly theatrics of talking severed heads and such.
Animus FX certainly does a credible job with the makeup and special effects, which are more of a foundation for the show than is Barker's unwieldy script; but, perhaps because of time and budget restrictions, they don't always feel fully realized. Still, there are enough gruesome gimmicks for Halloween thrill-seekers in search of more blood for their buck.