July 1, 2008

Frankenstein Given New Life

By Terry Morris Staff Writer

Frankenstein as you've never seen him? That's the Yellow Springs Kids Playhouse way. It sprang its 13th summer season of original shows Thursday, June 26, with a production based on the Mary Shelley classic.

Adapted by YSKP founder-director John Fleming, this one is called "Frankenstein, or the Difficulty of Changing One's Mind," a reference to creating, starting or unleashing something that doesn't turn out the way it was envisioned.

Backed by original music from New York jazz composer Neal Kirkwood, the hulking creature is a 10-foot puppet that, rather than slaying people on stage, unleashes environmental havoc. The townspeople begin turning into zombies. There's even a monster chorus.

There are still several chances to catch it: 7:30 p.m. today and Wednesday through July 6 at the Antioch Amphitheatre on Corry Street, Yellow Springs."

"Frankenstein" is part one in YSKP's "Monster Mash Season." Next up will be a staging of "Bunnicula: The Vampire Bunny" July 23-27.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students, or $35 for a book of five. For reservations, call (937) 767-2259.

Bit parts

The Epiphany Players will present their 10th anniversary production, "The Wizard of Oz," July 10-20 at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 6430 Far Hills Ave., Centerville. A portion of the ticket and advertising proceeds will go to the Interfaith Hospitality Network for homeless families. Kay Frances Wean is director, with music direction by John Benjamin and choreography by Annette Looper.

Times are 8 p.m. July 10-12 and 17-19 and 2:30 p.m. July 13 and 20. Call (937) 428-6604.

The Dayton Playhouse,

1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., could use your help today, June 29, as set construction for the upcoming new play Futurefest gets started. Work hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come when you can.

La Comedia Dinner Theatre in Springboro would agree with New York producer Kevin McCollum's opinion that the musical "White Christmas" belongs on Broadway.

McCollum is in discussions about bringing the stage adaptation of the Irving Berlin movie musical to Broadway.

The first regional theater to do so, La Comedia produced the same show last year and set local attendance records. "We tried to get rights to do it again and couldn't because of the possibility of a Broadway production," La Comedia marketing director Justin Walton said.

"White Christmas," with songs including the title number, "The Best Things Happen When You're Dancing,""Love and the Weather" and "Snow," has also been presented in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Toronto and St. Paul, Minn.

McCollum also produced "Rent,""Avenue Q" and this year's Tony winner "In the Heights."

Footlights covers local theater news and auditions. Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2377 or [email protected] DailyNews.com.

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