Theatre Review – May 11, 2010
Reviewed by Paula Citron
Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre has an international reputation based on their highly stylized music theatre. The company’s 2006 megahit Frankenstein is ending the Canadian Stage season. Anyone who saw Catalyst’s 2009 production of Nevermore, The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe at Luminato last year knows what I’m talking about.
Catalyst shows are written, directed and composed by Jonathan Christenson and designed by Bretta Gerecke. They have a very definite look – in this case, a cross between commedia dell’arte and Grand-Guignol.
Their themes are epic, and for Frankenstein , they have gone right back to Mary Shelley’s powerful1813 original novel to explore taking responsibility for what humankind unleashes on the world.
The lyrics are clever, the music is attractive and the large cast is talented. Catalyst asks the audience to follow it to the avant-garde and to a show that has comedy and pathos in equal measure.
Frankenstein continues at the Bluma Appel Theatre until May 29.
Canadian Stage/Catalyst Theatre
Written, directed and composed by Jonathan Christenson
Designed by Bretta Gerecke
Starring Andrew Kushnir and George Szilagyi with Nick Green, Tim Machin, Sarah Machin Gale, Nancy McAlear, Dov Mickelson and Tracy Penner
Bluma Appel Theatre, Apr. 29 to May 29, 2010