Oscar E Moore

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The Diary of Anne Frankenstein – Off Off B’way Experimental Theatre

October 13th, 2009 by Oscar E Moore

Not exactly a musical.  Not exactly awful.  Not exactly a show destined to become a classic.  But Halloween is just around the corner and if you are so inclined to see an absurd piece of theatre that features the disembodied head of Hitler (Ryan Feyk), a mad scientist – Dr. Gustav Frankenstein (Joseph Beuerlein) along with his nephew Fritz (Geoffrey Borman) who had created  an abomination called Anne – a hermaphrodite (empowered by drag queen Mimi Imfurst) and then sent her off to the secret attic to grow up, whiling away her days speaking with her living diary (Lavinia Co-Op) who has her do some pretty down and dirty deeds then “The Diary of Anne Frankenstein” written by Ilya Sapiroe is just the show for you.

It is ridiculous.  Maybe too much so.  It targets Hitler, 50’s horror flicks and a type of forties movie star (Sylvia Beasley) usually played in drag but in this case by a terrific actress, Jessica Caplan.  I’ve always wondered if a woman would be just as good as a man playing this type of woman.  Jessica Caplan is as good if not better.  She has the look and impeccable comic timing down pat.

Tucked away at the 13th Street Rep Theatre where the underground secret Nazi seedy laboratory of Dr. Frankenstein feels right at home, director Elizabeth Elkins has come up with some inventive touches.  The musical numbers (Music: Kevin Cummines – Lyrics: Ilya Sapiroe) are quite funny and tuneful especially the love duet between Anne and Paul (Eric Jaeger).  Paul is the husband of the wealthy star who because of his insomnia discovers Anne in the attic and his lust and love for her.  It’s an odd pairing but that’s what ridiculous theatre is all about.

It is sometimes very amusing but overstays its welcome with too many yawns in between.  I thought all the actors exceptional. It’s a great ensemble cast that the Theatre a L’Orange has assembled but the play itself needs a lot more polishing before all of the comedy shines through.  Tickets $22.50 through November 8th.


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