Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, October 30, 2021

it's live
I don’t go see live theater very much. I could go at length about why not, about the differences between mainstream spectacle productions and more intimate theater, the scattered venues in the Tampa Bay area, and so on. I won’t. I’ll just leave it at saying that, typically, seeing a show is usually, at best, fourth or fifth on my options list for a night out; as a result, in the 15 years I’ve lived here, I’ve been gone to see three or four plays, total.

I am tempted, though, by Jobsite Theater’s production of “Playing With Fire: After Frankenstein” at the TBPAC’s Shimberg Playhouse. Why? Because it ain’t your daddy’s Frankenstein:

Playing With Fire, commissioned in the mid 1990s by the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, picks up where the Shelley novel ends, with Dr. Frankenstein and his creature in the Arctic. From there it moves backward and forward in time, providing the backstory by revisiting scenes from the novel. Two sets of actors play the doctor and the creature, one set in the play’s present and one in the past.

If audiences come expecting the Frankenstein of B movies, they’re likely to be disappointed, [Jobsite artistic director David] Jenkins said.

“This isn’t a Boris Karloff Frankenstein, with a square head and green greasepaint and bolts in the neck,” he said. “There isn’t a lot of blood and gore at all.”

Instead Playing With Fire is meant as a serious examination of the human condition, a look at the relationship between the creator (with or without a capital C) and the creation, a study of existential isolation.

Mary Shelley’s novel is a rich vein to tap, and I’m most intrigued by an asynchronous sequel that expands upon its themes.

(Not that the monster movie deserves to be dissed. It is a classic, and its iconic nature is woven into popular culture. It’s also, I think, the only horror movie that ever actually gave me nightmares as a kid.)

What are the chances of Jobsite tossing me a couple of comp tickets to a performance of “Playing With Fire”, even for a matinee showing? Eh, I won’t beg. And I’ll probably go see it anyway.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 10/30/2004 05:42:03 PM
Category: Media, Florida Livin' | Permalink |

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