Blackwood — FRANKENSTEIN ROCKS, a hilarious adaption of Mary Shelley’s classic tale, comes to Camden County College’s Dennis Flyer Theatre October 21 and 22. This comedic rock musical explodes onto the stage with all the amperage one would expect from an 80’s style hair-metal rock concert. It is presented by Riddlesbrood Theater Company and Mainstage Center for the Arts. This adaption of the show features 25 children from local towns throughout south Jersey as well as nine adults.
FRANKENSTEIN ROCKS is brought to life by Brian Albert, who not only wrote and directs the musical, but also composed and wrote the musical score, and portrays Dr. Frankenstein.
“I wanted to create a show for Halloween that would become a new tradition for the season that everyone could enjoy,” said Albert.
Albert, an actor and musician, has performed in more than 1,500 live performances and has been featured on TV’s Discovery Channel and The Food Network, in addition to hosting a 12-episode show for Verizon Fios called “My Home 2.0”.
One of the comical characters he created for the show is Hildigurde, Dr. Frankenstein’s flirtatious maid. Lori Reed has played the character since the show’s inception four years ago.
“Hildigurde is a fun character because she is so silly and strange and sings and dances. The audience will love the catchy tunes in the show, especially “Raise the Dead and the humorous twist on a classic story. It’s a great way to get in the spirit for Halloween.”
Another actor who’s been involved with Frankenstein Rocks for several years is Brian Tangradi. Brian portrays a few characters in the show. One is Prescott P. Prinklefoot, a Spider-Oil Salesman who represents classic snake oil salesmen of the 19th century. His dialogue is written in doublespeak.
“Almost every line is a clever and confusing backwards spin on catch phrases that are familiar in everyday speech. For example, leave no turn unstoned,” said Tangradi, “The show is a spooky story that’s also funny. It’s fun to be performing with more kids of all ages this year. They bring a spirit to the production that makes the experience a lot of fun.”
One of those children, Veronica James, who is eight years old and from Voorhees, ended up getting other family members involved in the production. She’s an ensemble member throughout the whole show. Her mom, Jeannine and brother, Justin, 11, decided to do stage crew after Veronica auditioned. Then, production staff asked them to get involved in one of the scenes, so all three will be on stage together.
“It’s exciting to be involved in a show together and to see my daughter’s passion for musical theatre emerge,” said James. “For me, it’s getting back to my roots as I have a Master’s in Theatre and worked behind the scenes for many years. For my son, it’s really good for him because he has autism and it’s such an accomplishment for him to get up on stage. It’s just been a great experience. FRANKENSTEIN ROCKS is really fun and over-the-top goofy!”
Victoria Marks, a 10 year-old from Sicklerville who plays Bobby Jean in the cast, agrees about the goofiness. She said the best way to describe Frankenstein Rocks is, “Hilarious, rocking, and full of awesomeness!”
Over the last four years, FRANKENSTEIN ROCKS has played venues ranging from Rowan University to the Strand Theatre in Lakewood, NJ. Additional actors with primary parts not mentioned above include Kylee Anne Agnello, Jeff Cleve, and Joey Christopher.
For tickets, visit www.mainstage.org or call (855) 936-2467, ext 3.
Mainstage Center for the Arts, the parent program for Summer Stage, is a 501 © (3) non-profit organization committed to providing a creative, vibrant, and nurturing environment for youth and adults.
This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Theater/Organization Mainstage Center for the Arts
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.mainstage.org
Theater/Organization Address: 200 College Drive Blackwood, New Jersey 08012 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (855) 935-2467