This Halloween played host to my first viewing of the 500 Clown Frankenstein. The theater was packed with people who most probably had seen the show before. The air in the theater was crackling with smiles, and excitement, and the cold brisk smell of fallen leaves and autumn wind.
There are many versions of the canonical tale of Doctor Frankenstein and his reanimated corpse. With every show, the 500 Clowns increase that number by one. A rotating cast mans the turrets of this 3-person danse macabre, conceived many moons ago by the first clown among the 500, director and performer Adrian Danzig. He was on hand this evening only to announce that this was the first 500 Clown Frankenstein that did not include him. The audience, appreciative and excited, settled in to hear the tale.
And hear, and see, we did. I was reminded during the production that Frankenstein is a tale of horror; a cautionary tale of a flawed being that creates another flawed being. There is clowning, to be sure, and some hearty yuks in this show, but itís not all fun and games. As with many good cautionary tales, there were a few moments during the show when I felt some discomfort. I didnít want to watch what was happening, and this had nothing to do with the quality of the story or the performance thereof. The three clowns I saw on the evening in question had a preeminent sense of body control, and they performed with incredible vigor and skill; in that regard, the show was wholly enjoyable. Creative, practiced, inspired - and appropriately horrifying.
I cannot recommend this show highly enough - especially as something to revisit perennially, to see how each of the 500 Clowns tells it. This is kinetic art in the making, and a great Halloween story.