As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Sunday, December 17

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


A/C
« Floating World and Yozo Hamaguchi Sexy People on Sexy Bikes »

Performance Sat Oct 24 2009

The Hypocrites' Frankenstein Haunts MCA Stage

Frankenst.jpgIt's allegorically similar to Dr. Victor Frankenstein's monster itself. Creative director Sean Graney and the Hypocrites analyzed a gothic tale of assorted interpretations, dissected it, and spread it across the Museum of Contemporary Art stage to be pieced together -and there's not one nose-bleed seat in the house.

The Hypocrites' Frankenstein revision, based on Mary Shelley's 1818 novel and the 1931 film starring Boris Karloff, has a haunted house-like promenade setup resulting in the actors weaving through the audience, up and around asymmetrically placed furniture and benches. So, everyone is sitting front-row. The performance does come with aforementioned caveats however: "You will be pointed to if you are in the way," actress Jessie Fisher says beforehand, "And we're going to try so hard not to get blood on you."

The promenade stage itself is already an eerie setup, before the show even begins: while a projection of the 1931 black-and-white film being played on a shredded-and-sewn-back-together screen, pages from Mary Shelley's novel are literally ripped up and posted on the adjacent wall. Plastic dolls and their various appendages hang amid industrial light bulb fixtures as static electricity zaps, faint screams bawl and fluttering bat wings flail as an ambient sound.

More interestingly, the actual performance is uniquely interactive, almost everyone in attendance has to move around to get closer -or flee if they're too close. And the arrangement encouraged visitors to climb benches, dressers, armoires and sofas (but be careful -one man lost his footing off a dresser and hit his head hard when an actress moved towards him).

There were many elements keeping the pace of the show vigorous: a few comedic, character-revealing musical numbers--one about wanting to scientifically quantify what it means to be human and another lamenting the loneliness once it has been achieved. There are scenes of horror as screaming characters are torn limb from limb. And the pinnacle moment: a dramatic fight scene between Dr. Frankenstein and his monster that takes almost the entire stage, jumping from dresser to dresser.

The tale of Dr. Frankenstein's monster is roughly about a lonely scientist who wants to create a living man out of the remains of the dead, only to produce a grotesque creature that in turn seeks companionship and revenge. While the timeless story has been told in various interpretations, novels, films and comics, to have the audience entwined within a multimedia performance is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.


The MCA, 220 E. Chicago Ave., will be presenting The Hypocrites: Frankenstein from Oct. 21 to Nov. 1. Performances will be Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30pm, Sundays at 3pm and at 7:30pm, with two special performances for Halloween on Friday, Oct. 30 at 10pm and Saturday, October 31 at 10pm. Tickets range from $20-$25 (Students, subject to availability: $10) and can be bought at the MCA Box Office at (312) 397- 4010 or at MCAChicago.org. The performance is recommended by the MCA for mature audiences.

 
GB store
GB store

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

Blogroll

ACRE
An Angry White Guy
Antena
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Collaboraction
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Defibrillator
Devening Projects
Digressions
DIY Film
ebersmoore
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
HollywoodChicago
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
InCUBATE
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
J-Pointe
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Marquee
Mess Hall
N'DIGO
Neoteric Art
NewcityArt
NewcityFilm
NewcityStage
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Onstage
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
Performink
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
SAIC Blog
The Seen
Sharkforum
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Steppenwolf.blog
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
threewalls
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Vocalo
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store

 

Events


A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.



About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop, nancy@gapersblock.com
A/C staff inbox: ac@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15