Frank Wildhorn Is Working on a Frankenstein Musical, But It's Not What You Imagine

News   Frank Wildhorn Is Working on a Frankenstein Musical, But It's Not What You Imagine
Composer Frank Wildhorn and librettist-director Gregory Boyd are working on a new musical called Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, with James Barbour attached as the famed creature of the tale, Playbill On-Line has learned.

The title of this next dawning musical from the creator of Dracula, the Musical and Jekyll & Hyde indicates a new take on the classic 1818 tale about a monster (as Hollywood re-told it) created from body parts. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's creative process leading to the writing of her famed novel is a large part of the new show's treatment, sources attached to the project said.

Don't expect the old Hollywood take on the gothic yarn. Instead of elaborate laboratory effects and bolts in the neck of the monster, expect a romantic mystery — a dreamlike fantasia that speaks to the ideas of artistic inspiration and creativity.

Now in its formative stages, the project — still set in the early 19th-century — is expected to have a concept album (the same way Jekyll & Hyde began) and possible 2006 developmental productions with Goodspeed Musicals (which produced Wildhorn's Camille Claudel) and the Alley Theatre in Houston (where Gregory Boyd is artistic director). Neither resident company has officially announced the show on future schedules, but talks are ongoing.

Kate Shindle, a veteran of Jekyll & Hyde, is involved in the show's early stages, Playbill On-Line learned.

James Barbour is remembered for his brooding, powerful portrayal of Rochester in the Broadway musical, Jane Eyre, and Leon Czolgosz in 2004's Tony Award winning Broadway revival of Assassins at Studio 54. With Wildhorn, Gregory Boyd co-wrote the libretto to the Wildhorn-composed Broadway musical, The Civil War, which was originally commissioned by the Alley. Jack Murphy wrote that show's lyrics.

Jekyll & Hyde's developmental production was commissioned by the Alley, where Boyd directed it. The bloody show went onto international success.

Wildhorn's Dracula is currently running at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway.


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