Frankenspell Superstar is a 60-minute one-act rock opera that brings to life the fable of Dr. Frankenstein's Creature in a new and inspiring way. Focusing on the short life of the Creature, Frankenspell Superstar chronicles his struggles to understand the world, his escape into the countryside, and his encounters with fear and rejection. In the mountains, he finds a little girl who is not afraid of him. Unlike most movie versions, the Creature does not accidentally harm the girl, but learns from her what it means to be human.
Unlike Mary Shelley's original story, this Creature is not immortal nor indestructible. As an allegory closer to current culture, this Creature is only a temporary creation, an experiment Victor Frankenstein considers more of a beta test, never intending it to last. When the Creature flees into the mountains to freedom, he begins to decay. He must return to his cursed creator to ask to be healed.
Also unlike the original tale, Mueller's interpretation includes three different choruses. The story is told by Gypsies who speak in a whirlwind of thought and enchantment. Lab animals help add lightness and humor, freed by the Creature as he flees into the wilderness. Most interestingly there is a chorus of spirits "attached" to the separate body parts which make up the Creature.
Frankenspell Superstar was first performed in 1992 as a benefit for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and was wildly successful. The cast consisted of junior high and high school performers (see below) with a chorus of 40 elementary school children playing the part of lab animals and forest creatures. The one-hour score was subsequently rewritten for Off Broadway and presented as a 90-minute two-act, performed for an extended run at the Thirteenth Street Theatre, Manhattan.
The show was reworked 3 more times under the title Creature, performed at the legendary John Houseman Theatre (which closed in 2005) and several other venues. Characters were expanded, some drastically altered, in order to transform the show from a Disney-like family musical into an edgier adult audiecne experience. Some of the newer songs appear on Best of the CenterStage Years and/or are listed below as Bonus Tracks. Two of those songs are included in this reissued recording: "Dreams" and "One Voice".*
If you are interested in any of these scripts or scores, please contact Tobin Mueller.
CenterStage Players on this recording include:
Gypsies: Jessica Flood, Kathryn Purdy, Lisa Jarret, Lindsey Teetaert, Holly Thomas
Victor Frankenstein: Chris Vanderlinden
Elisabeth, Victor's Fiance: Holly Thomas, Bonus Track versions sung by Jessica Flood*
Frederick, Victor's Brother: Kris Larson
The Creature: Matt Knudsen, Broadway versions sung by Tobin Mueller*
Hilde, the Mountain Girl: Emily Rohm
Additional Voices: Philip Vanderlynden, Dan Jessup, Anton Mueller, Will Mueller
Elisabeth on Bonus Tracks: Jessica Flood
Composer Demos on Bonus Tracks: Tobin Mueller (all voices)
Originally recorded at Bonzai Recording Studio, Jeff Maroscek engineer
Mastered at the Factory Underground Studio, Tom Stewart engineer
Based on "Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus" by Mary Shelley
All music and lyrics written and arranged by Tobin Mueller, with the exception of themes from "Man on the Hill" and "Meet Dr. Johnson from the New School of Life" written by Tim Mueller. All background music performed by Tobin Mueller.
Click the Play buttons below to listen (website may take a moment to start streaming).
|1||The Gypsies: Prologue [Scene script]|
|2||High on a Hill [Lyrics]|
|3||The Gypsies: What If You Could See Forever? [Scene script]|
|4||Frankenspell Superstar [Lyrics]|
|5||The Gypsies: Until It Was Too Late [Scene script]|
|6||The New School of Life / Run Run Away [Lyrics]|
|7||The Gypsies: Escaped [Scene script]|
|8||I'm Gonna School Ya [Lyrics]|
|9||The Gypsies: Learning [Scene script]|
|10||What We Have Learned [Lyrics]|
|11||One Voice (from alt version: Creature) [Lyrics]|
|12||Dreams (from alt version: Creature) [Lyrics]|
|13||The Gypsies: Was Not to Last [Scene script]|
|14||Must Go Back [Lyrics]|
|15||The Gypsies: Epilogue [Scene script]|
|16||When You Came [Lyrics]|
|1||Do I Know Him (from alt Broadway version of Creature) [Lyrics]|
|2||I Won't Leave You (Broadway Finale)|
|3||The Resurrection Witch (Broadway version, sung by Elizabeth*)|
|4||A Promise (Broadway version, sung by Victor)|
|5||Fire Within: Making the Creature (Broadway version with underscoring)|
|6||This Is It (animals' song - composer's demo)|
|7||The River Never Stops (Broadway composer demo, sung by The Heart/Body Parts/Chorus)|
|8||Shape of My Life (Jazz version featuring Woody Mankowski)|
|9||Against the Great Unknown (composer's demo)|
|10||Awake to Me / Dreams (Jazz version featuring Woody Mankowski)|
|11||What Is The Shape of My Life (Broadway version, sung by Victor Frankenstein)|
|12||One Body (Jazz instrumental version, as recorded for Flow)|
©1992/1995/2019 Tobin Mueller.