Review: Frankenstein at Resurrection Theatre

Showtimes: Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm. Through 11/17; $15-$20; Resurrection Theatre at Wilkerson Theatre, 1723 25th Street; (916) 491-0940;
Rated 4.0

There’s the common misconception that the title of Mary Shelley’s iconic Frankenstein refers to the name of the creature created by a mad scientist. In fact, the creator is named Dr. Frankenstein and his manufactured being is just called “The Creature.”

In his adaptation of Shelley’s classic, now being presented by Resurrection Theatre, local playwright Jes Gonzales poses the question of who the real monster is—the creator or the created? Gonzales keeps with Shelley’s concept of man fiddling with lifeforms and reimagines the story that starts onboard a polar expedition at the turn of the 20th century.

Gonzales gives us an intriguing and creative storyline, with strong dialogue and colorful characters. He keeps the suspense on highwire while jumping back and forth through various moments of Dr. Frankenstein’s life: his losses and loves, his secret, singular devotion to replicating human life and the consequences when he does.

The cast works well together, with Said Noori giving an impressive portrayal of Dr. Frankenstein, a character who shoulders much of the dense, period-appropriate dialogue. The set is simple—a captain’s cabin on a platform, with other scenes presented through boxes, benches, a chest and tables. The lighting and sound effects add to the eerie tale, especially the sound of crackling ice that imprisons the ship, its crew and an unexpected guest.