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Undying love
THEATRX presents campy horror parody, 'The Bride of Frankenstein'

PAM KRAGEN
Staff Writer

With a title like "The Bride of Frankenstein," the musical comedy opening at THEATRX tonight might sound like a vintage horror picture from the '30s. But that's not the kind of story that pops from the mind of THEATRX director Stephen Storc.

Instead, this "Bride" is a cross between the campy 1975 musical cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and the 1974 Mel Brooks film comedy "Young Frankenstein." An all-new score of original songs, a lovesick monster, several disembodied heads, one dominatrix and two transvestites make Storc's horror parody quite unlike the 1935 James Whale film that shares its name.

"Basically, it's a show about family," said Storc, who owns the 3-year-old downtown Escondido community theater and writes and directs all of its shows. "No matter how screwed up you think your family is, there's always one out there that's worse than yours ---- much worse."

Storc draws characters and situations from all three films for his musical, which parodies horror films with a racy twist. In this musical, Dr. Frankenstein is busy trying to reanimate a man while his faithful assistant, Igor, is out in the cemetery looking for suitable "parts."

Meanwhile, an innocent young couple, Brad and Janet, are out driving one night when they get lost in a storm and end up at the Frankenstein mansion. Confusion ensues when Brad stumbles in on Mistress Angelique, a resident dominatrix who is awaiting a client, Caulfield. Angelique confuses Brad with Caulfield and the craziness begins.

Among the original songs Storc has penned for the musical are "You Gotta Have Parts," sung by Igor in the cemetery; "Party Until You Drop," a parody number much like "Rocky Horror's" "Time Warp"; "Someone for Someone," a love song between Brad and Janet; and "Oh Brad," a doo-wop-style number sung by Janet and her "Three Singing Heads" (actually three reanimated heads awaiting bodies from the cemetery).

Starring in "Bride" are a number of THEATRX veterans and several new faces. Ron Lipps stars as Dr. Frankenstein, Peggy Schneider as his wife, Drau Bluske; Julie Schwaben as Igor; Shauna Hogate as Janet; Robert Boughner as Brad; Victor Frost as Michael the monster; Liz Sabicer as Clarice, the bride; Tara Pool as Mistress Angelique; David Pool as Caulfield; Lacey Miller as Lace; Scott Woodbury as Todd and Kathleen Perhach as Mitzi.

"Bride" features a colorful assortment of kooky characters, elaborate costumes and makeup, and four sets, which have been built on the company's new turntable stage. Although Storc said he's happy with the way the show has turned out, though he has had to delay its opening by two weeks as a flu virus has worked its way through the cast and crew.

"The Bride of Frankenstein" is the last production of THEATRX's third season. Storc said he's written 37 new musicals since he opened the downtown theater. He hopes to announce his calendar for season 2000-01 next month.