Frankenstein | Heartland Studio Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Frankenstein The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through March 31 2018

Universal Studios put its planned Dark Universe franchise on ice before shooting began on the second installment, Bride of Frankenstein. That means Mary Shelley's macabre creature likely won't be on the big screen again anytime soon, but he still seems to be a perennial fascination for stage artists—be they comedians or experimentalists or Sean Graney. In Bower Theatre Ensemble's stodgy, stiff-collared inaugural production, Alexander Utz stitches together Shelley's horror tale with the true story of its origins, the famous Lake Geneva writing conclave that inspired both Shelley's Modern Prometheus and John Polidori's The Vampyre. That's a fine if well-trodden premise, but Bec Willett's overlong and understated production comes across as dramaturgy run amok, never rooting its grandiose musings in the sort of ground-level stakes that a two-hour story requires to remain—or become—engrossing. —Dan Jakes

Price: $20, $15 students and industry

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