The world premiere of Carol Weiss' Frankenstein, a musical based on Mary Shelley's classic novel, is the opening production of International City Theatre's 1999 season at the Center Theatre. Opening night is Feb. 12.
Shashin Desai and caryn morse desai [sic] co-direct a cast that includes Joseph McNally (as Victor Frankenstein), John Michael Morgan (as the monster), James Blashaw, Josh Breslow, Craig A. Meyer, Nikki Kaffee, Linda Kerns, Kelli Maguire, Patty Reid, Celeste Russi and Geoffrey M. Washburn. Musical director is Darryl Archibald and choreography is by Patti Columbo.
Weiss, who has written the book, music and lyrics, reports that she has always been fascinated by the implications of Shelley's novel. "When Frankenstein was written," she said in a statement, "modern science as we know it was just beginning. The notion of alchemy had only been recently discredited. It was 20 years after Benjamin Franklin's experiments with electricity. People were obsessed with the idea that science could be used to bring the dead back to life. Bodies were being stolen from graveyards. Shelley's novel didn't come out of nowhere. These were the notions of the time...and we are on the verge of doing what Shelley wrote about."
Frankenstein is the first world premiere musical ever mounted in Long Beach. It will run through Mar. 7. A gala pre-show dinner at L'Opera, a five-star restaurant, will be hosted by Long Beach Mayor Beverly O'Neill on opening night.
The Center Theatre is located at 300 E. Ocean Blvd. For information, call (562) 938-4128. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent