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THEATER REVIEWS : Here Comes 'The Bride' With a California Surfing Spin : Moorpark Melodrama's staging may forever alter the tale of Frankenstein, his creation and the betrothed.

March 09, 1995|TODD EVERETT | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Magnificent Moorpark Melodrama & Vaudeville Company continues reprising shows voted audience favorites from past years with "The Bride of Frankenstein." Like most Melodrama productions, this one (adapted from a script by Tim Kelly) has little in common with the more familiar version--in this case, the 1935 sequel to the classic film "Frankenstein." Nor does it, we presume, resemble the just-announced film version to be directed by Ron Howard and to star Geena Davis in the title role.

In Kelly's version, Dr. Frankenstein has moved to Southern California, household intact, to "find a healthy young brain . . . the brain of a surfer!" for his Creature. Before long, Frankenstein's longtime nemesis, Count Dracula, shows up with his wife, mother-in-law, and a case of insomnia. Onto the scene venture detective Sherman Holmes and a pair of young preppies, Jack and Mitzi. High jinks ensue.

Director Elaine Raleigh has taken a show that was funny the first time around and really revved it up, thanks also to a uniformly strong cast including several Melodrama newcomers. Phill Meske stars as Dr. Frankenstein, who spares the audience by not racing around the castle half-nude like Kenneth Branagh. Don Chaja and Victoria Valenzuela appear as Jack and Mitzi; George Lindsey Jr. and William Kish (who perform outside the Melodrama as the comedy team "Two Guys from the Valley") as Igor and The Creature; Jeff Wallach as Dracula; Kim Anton and Paula Eisel all dressed up in Elvira garb as Drac's wife and mother-in-law; Sean Burns, Jason Rasmussen, Amy Milla and Robert Porter as the surfers; Joseph Sanfilippo and Karen Nelson-Tricker as Holmes and his girlfriend; Bunny Nelson as Frankenstein's other assistant; and Lacy Rumley as The Bride.

Details

* WHAT: "The Bride of Frankenstein."

* WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Matinees at 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Runs through April 8.

* WHERE: Magnificent Moorpark Melodrama & Vaudeville Co., 45 E. High St., Moorpark.

* HOW MUCH: All seats for all shows, $12. Group rates are available for some performances.

* CALL: 529-1212.

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