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Manual Cinema’s FRANKENSTEIN captures lightning in a bottle

Press throughout Chicago are praising Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein, with many critics Highly Recommending the production. Audiences and critics alike agree that Manual Cinema’s work is innovative, ambitious, and dynamic. See what the minds behind “live cinema” have created from Mary Shelley’s classic novel — get tickets to Frankenstein.


“You’ll likely be blown away by the singularity of the artistic technique. Aside from the ability to watch the movie while you watch the creation of the movie, you also get an original score, played live by an ensemble of four musicians. Manual Cinema does world-class work from its Chicago base; the word is only now getting out.

—Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune


“Another stage marvel from Manual Cinema…With a score that sonically stitches the story together, “Frankenstein” is an ingenious merger of live music and captivating visuals. No matter where you look, you’ll find beauty and intrigue.”

—Catey Sullivan, Chicago Sun-Times


“Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein at Court Theatre is a complex visual treat…impressive in scope and execution, entertaining, and (especially if you’ve never seen Manual Cinema before) absolutely fascinating to watch. The opening night audience was entranced, and I have no doubt you will be as well.”

—Karen Topham, Chicago On Stage, ★★★★ Highly Recommended


“Astonishing, wildly imaginative…an elaborately layered and wholly hypnotic form of storytelling – at once handmade and high-tech, and mind-boggling in the complexity of the countless clockwork cues so essential to making it all spring to life in a seamless mix of live performance, silent film-style “intertitles,” many ingenious forms of puppetry, a haunting soundscape and more.”

—Hedy Weiss, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, Highly Recommended


“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, through the unbelievable sights and sounds created by the fertile imagination of Manual Cinema, is an absolutely glorious theatrical experience. The company injects so many new, added elements not typically found in a stage performance. They bring to Chicago theatergoers an electrifying performance they won’t soon forget.

—Colin Douglas, Chicago Theatre Review, Highly Recommended


“Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein is a purposefully-paced, finely-tuned masterpiece that evolves on many sensory levels commanding attention at every turn. With a gloriously expressive ensemble – delivering multiple characterizations, nonstop action, and whimsical imagery – words have been rendered virtually unnecessary.”

—Ed Tracy, Picks in Six, Highly Recommended


“A captivating monochromatic video mash-up, reminiscent of a nickelodeon feature, assembled and projected on stage before your eyes…This is a unique theatrical experience that should not be missed.

—Reno Lovison, Chicago Theatre and Arts, Highly Recommended


“Revealing what would be otherwise considered a “backstage” experience is what renders the final onstage experience so darn impressive. At certain points, while they emulate a turn-of-the-century silver screen aesthetic, the realization sets in that this ensemble has managed to create a black and white silent film edited LIVE better than some celluloid originals from that genre.

—Tonika Todorova, PerformInk, Highly Recommended – Critics Pick


“This historic storytelling is cleverly brought together combining many different fragments with each piece detailing this gothic horror coming to life with live musicians performing on stage with live actors and shadow puppetry; which include over 500 puppets to create what looks like you’re watching an animated film right before your eyes.

—Rick and Brenda McCain, Chicago Now Let’s Play, Highly Recommended – Critics Pick

Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Posted on November 19, 2018 in Theatre News

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