Prince William Little Theatre FrankensteinBy Laura & Mike Clark • Oct 21st, 2010 • Category: Reviews
Prince William Little Theatre
Gregory Family Theatre, Manassas, VA
Through October 24th
2:25 with one intermission
$15/$12 Students and Seniors
Reviewed October 17th, 2010
Frankenstein is a play in two acts by Victor Gialanella, adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley. It is the story of Victor Frankenstein, a man whose desire to bring the dead back to life consumes him until he manages to accomplish his goal. However the creature he brings to life in turn causes him nothing but pain and agony. In the end Victor has only one recourse. But the ending is not what one would expect.
This is Prince William Little Theatre’s debut production at the new Hylton Performing Arts Center on the campus of George Mason University in Manassas. It was an ambitous choice, as the show required many different sets and some complex lighting designs. It also was able to tie into the general feel for Halloween.
Jay Tilley as Dr. Victor Frankenstein played his role with sadness, anger, and a touch of madness as he attempted to destroy the creature he had worked so hard and with such passion to bring to life. He had a comfortable rapport with fiancé (and later wife) Elizabeth Lavenza played by Christine Lange. Lange showed a great deal of compassion and concern for Victor, despite his obsession. Victor’s younger brother William was portrayed by 4th grader Nathan Yannarell as very innocent and trusting. Frankenstein’s close friend Henry Clerval was presented by Mike Rudden as an earnest believer in Frankenstein’s work, but when he began to doubt the work, it was obvious he still supported his friend.
Michael Feidt played The Creature with a hard-core dedication. From lurching around the stage on all fours to speaking in grunts and eventually halting sentences, Feidt was able to make us connect with the Creature’s innocence. As the Creature “grew” we sympathized with him. Feidt played him with a fluidity that resembled a snake (a bit of foreshadowing perchance)? Later his innocence turned to an evil that was haunting. Carl Brandt Long’s fight choreography was believable and seemed natural. When the Creature was with young William, the tension rose incredibly.
The lighting effects by Ken and Patti Crowley were well done, with lots of popping and flashing went on through out the performance. One concern was the pre-show and intermission lighting, which slowly increased and decreased to match the sound effects of wind blowing. That lighting was annoying, especially as the audience was trying to read their playbill or to settle in to their seats. The scene changes may have also been a little bit slow, but to give the set crew credit, they did have a heck of a lot of furniture and set pieces to move. They managed to move it as quickly and as quietly as they could.
PWLT’s Frankenstein combined some interesting special effects, some fine acting, and a Halloween-appropriate show made for an enjoyable production. And now that PWLT is familiar with their new home, their future productions are something to look forward to.
- Victor Frankenstein: Jay Tilley
- Hans Metz: Sam Repshas
- Peter Schmidt: Dan Bellotte
- Henry Clerval: Mike Rudden
- Elizabeth Lavenza: Christine Lange
- William Frankenstein: Nathan Yannarell
- Justine Moritz: Erin Galallee
- Herr Lionel Mueller: Bob Rosenberg
- Frau Mueller: Susy Moorstein
- Alphonse Frankenstein: Rocky Jackson
- Creature: Michael Feidt
- DeLacey: Dell Pendergrast
- Director/Stage Manager: Don Petersen
- Producer: Dave Warner
- Assistant Stage Managers: Sarah Barlow, Melissa Jo York-Tilley
- Production and Set Design: Dave Warner, Don Petersen, Bob Shon
- Set Construction: Dave Warner, Darrell Poe, Sarah Barlow, Bob Shon, Kevin Smith, Guy Sandhusen, Becky Farris, Katherine Blondin, Rocky Jackson, Becca Jackson, Jason Roscher
- Set Dressing: Dave Warner, Sarah Barlow, Mike Smith
- Set painting: Dave Warner, Leslie, Rizor, Katherine Blondin, Don Petersen, Sarah Barlow, Bob Rosenberg, Becca Jackson
- Costume Design: Susy Moorstein, Melissa Jo York-Tilley, Erin Galallee
- Props: Sarah Barlow, Dave Warner
- Sound Design: Stan Harris
- Lighting Design: Ken and Patti Crowley
- Special Effects: Dave Warner, Bob Shon, Ken and Patti Crowley
- Running Crew: Don Petersen, Melissa Jo York-Tilley, Sarah Barlow, Dave Warner, Becca Jackson, Julie Cameron, Becky Farris, Bob Shon, Darrell Poe, Guy Sandhusen, Jason Roscher, Lawrence Bombay
- Hair and Makeup Design: Cast
- Creature Makeup Design: Julie Cameron
- Publicity: Cana J. Wade, Dave Warner, Don Wilson, Jay Tilley
- Cast Boards: Cana J. Wade, Dave Warner, David Harback
- Special Audition Assistance: Melissa Jo York-Tilley
Disclaimer: Prince William Little Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. PWLT also purchased advertising on ShowBizRadio; and Mike stage managed for PWLT last season, and was asked to stage manage this production.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/5732.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.