Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Midtown W
62

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein NYC Reviews and Tickets

62%
(51 Reviews)
Positive
33%
Mixed
45%
Negative
22%
Members say
Disappointing, Ambitious, Confusing, Slow, Great staging

About the Show

Ensemble for the Romantic Century's new piece uses excerpts from the 1818 edition of the novel, music, and dance interwoven with Mary Shelley’s letters and diaries to explore both the classic story and its creation.

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Member Reviews (51)

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58
Overreaching, Unfocused, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if Fairchild's dancing is the best part of the show. The idea of mixing Shelley's biography​ and her best seller is well-intentioned.

Don't see it if The patchwork of too many different media left this piece resembling its main character. More dance, image & music than play. Read more

55
Confusing, Disappointing, Ambitious, Slow

See it if If you are a fan of dance or opera you might enjoy it. It's a unique concept and utilizes a blend of several artistic mediums.

Don't see it if You are looking for a traditional theater. It's a bit all over the place. The solo piano & opera didn't further the story. Read more

Critic Reviews (16)

December 27th, 2017

“Frankenstein’s monster is enchanting, endearing, irresistibly alive...A monster to love. He is also trapped inside an ambitious but awkward production whose elements battle one another more often than not...The play’s dialogue has a way of shattering the mood created by the music, Mr. Fairchild’s movement, and those projections...The acted scenes are so tonally off that they seem like an afterthought...For all of the show’s flashes of beauty, it remains a collection of disparate parts."
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December 27th, 2017

“A theatrical monster mash-up that's easy to admire for ambition, but less so in execution...It feels as stitched together and ungainly as the wretch revivified by Victor Frankenstein...Fairchild is the show’s marquee name. His jagged movements fit the story...The acting is a mixed bag, under the direction of Sanders. The music is uniformly lovely. The overall show is less than the sum of its parts.”
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December 27th, 2017

“Though Wolf's idea of juxtaposing details of Shelley's life with scenes from her most famous literary achievement to suggest how one influenced the other has plenty of potential, Sanders is never quite able to make this concept transcend...The performances don't always help...Thankfully, the play is dominated by Fairchild... 'Shelley's' reach may exceed its grasp, but enough of its disparate parts connect to make it a reasonably stimulating and occasionally insightful experience.”
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December 28th, 2017

"Fairchild's movements provide captivating dramatic beauty...Though the musical elements are top shelf, 'Mary Shelley's Frankenstein' suffers on the dramatic end. There is little thread connecting the scenes and director Donald T. Sanders' staging is perfunctory at best...There are fine ideas within 'Mary Shelley's Frankenstein,' but stronger dramaturgy and deeper execution are required to bring them to life."
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December 27th, 2017

"As a dance piece, 'Mary Shelley's Frankenstein' is a masterful work...As long as the focus is on Fairchild and the music, the production comes closest to fulfilling the company's mission...Wolf has another story she wants us to heed, that of the creator of 'Frankenstein,' Mary Shelley...The production simply cannot find the right balance between these two stories...Conceptually, they've got amazing potential, but they've got their work cut out for them in striving for the right balance.”
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December 28th, 2017

“Robert Fairchild speaks well and communicates much with his physique, but his choreography is repetitive and uninventive. Here was a chance to breathe new life into a too familiar character. All Fairchild could come up with is lurching movements and awkward falls to the floor. He takes the obvious path to create his character with movement when he had a chance to illuminate the Monster's inner emotions.”
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December 27th, 2017

“The trim and attractive Fairchild dances up a storm, and his contorted, tortured movements evoke the ugliness and self-loathing of the creature often referred to by its inventor's surname...The choreography vibrates with his incredible physical vigor...Wolf's concept, though overly ambitious in all it tries to weave together, is actually fairly easy to follow...Isn't likely to be a must-see for the average tourist...But there are plenty of highlights to remember.”
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January 6th, 2018

“So much lies behind the creation of this novel...but you wouldn’t know that from the uneven, unfocused, undefined creature that is ‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’...Wolf has not created a coherent evening of theater...Unfortunately, the actors suffer under the burden of the show’s overreach. The pieces just don’t come together as they should...’Frankenstein’ is a masterpiece. Too bad this play is not.”
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January 2nd, 2018

“The fusion of chamber music, stunning visuals, and narrative....Fairchild definitely stands out as the Monster, expertly embodying someone who is new to the concept of moving...He also encapsulates the pathos and desperation of someone who is misunderstood...It’s always satisfying to gain deeper insight into a beloved classic, and ‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’ does just that, as it links the real life angst of an author to her most famous work.”
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December 29th, 2017

“Many elements were off and fighting with one another...I guess the main culprits would be the misguided direction coupled with a convoluted and pretentious script...The casting was perplexing...The design was random, clunky, and unfocused. And the direction dull and distracting. The only element in totality that survived unharmed in this sloppy contrived attempt to create art were the musicians...This production is as lost as that Monster flailing around in the woods.”
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December 28th, 2017

"Though the concept has potential, not all the pieces gel and as a whole, the piece seems disjointed, thanks to director Donald T. Sanders. The music is first rate, as is the dancing by Robert Fairchild, though the choreography is so disjointed that it is jarring to watch. Where the show falls apart, is in the actress cast as Mary Shelley, Mia Vallet, as well as the writing...Fairchild would have done better to have an independent eye creating."
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December 28th, 2018

“Music is integrated into the production, with mezzo-soprano Swann...and an ensemble of talented musicians providing the accompaniment...The spoken passages are the weakest aspect...It is the dancing of Fairchild and the balletic conception of the creature that gives the production its chief distinction...Highly unusual in the pantheon of ‘Frankenstein’ endeavors, and despite the monster’s violent behavior, the emphasis is on the beauty of the production rather than on horror.”
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W
December 28th, 2017

"Symbiotic Romantic music by Liszt, Bach, Schubert, and Busoni are stunningly performed...Formidably imaginative choreography by actor/dancer Robert Fairchild acts as vertebrae and gut...This is a banquet of sensation and unyielding emotion. The unfortunate weak links in this otherwise gorgeous effort are Mia Vallet and Paul Wesley. Neither actor has presence...This extraordinary evening is, however, well worth attending for so many other reasons."
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M
January 3rd, 2018

“Wolf’s script provides an arresting mirroring of the creative imagination with the unpredictability of reality...The plain-spoken delivery is a bit jarring against the eloquence of the words themselves, the heightened atmosphere created by the music, and the aura of the characters involved...But such criticism aside, Wolf – and Fairchild – deserve monstrous credit for providing another look at and dimension to this oft-told tale of science and creativity gone awry.”
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Z
December 28th, 2017

"Fairchild conveys torments beautifully, and is truly a marvel to watch. Although his performance is fascinating, the production itself suffers from an awkwardness and confusion almost as painful as the torments of the creature himself...The story has enough juice, one would think, to power the dramatic scenes. But they fall flat, with awkward dialogue and colorless, strangely modern performances...The music, however, is lovely."
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December 27th, 2017

“Another disjunctive written work...So much of the storyline is staged with little sense of a coherence...Fortunately, there is incomparable dancing by Fairchild...the tentative spark that this show badly needs...You long for his dance moments and the thrilling Swann along with the musicians but have to deal with not only the pain of listening to dialogue delivered by three performers devoid of any conviction along with desultory writing and equally meandering direction.”
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