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Franks ’N Steins celebrates Tucson book fest, Mary Shelley book

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Frankensteins, and brides of Frankensteins, will take over 191 Toole on Halloween eve.

At the Franks ’N Steins shindig on Oct. 30., you can drink brew, eat hot dogs, win a costume contest and get a load of Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons as Frankenstein’s humpbacked sidekick Igor.

Oh, and if you have an issue with perfecting the monster’s make-up and hair, you can get help for that.

It’s all in the name of literature.


The party marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s classic novel “Frankenstein” and the 10th anniversary of the Tucson Festival of Books (the Star is a major sponsor of the festival), which is behind the 21-and-over event. The festival isn’t until March, but clearly organizers want the fun to start now.

While you are chowing down on El Guero Canelo hot dogs, a DJ will spin Halloween hits — think “Monster Mash” and “I Put A Spell on You.” Practice your “Thriller” moves and be prepared to dance.

Come dressed in your best Frankenstein or his bride. And if you are intimidated by the hair and makeup part of the costumes, experts can work their magic and give you a monstrous look that no doubt will win you friends and perhaps scare people.

And, of course, it can’t be a costume party without a competition — the best monster/monstress stands to come out on top. Really, who doesn’t want to brag about being the most monstrous?

Emceeing it all is Monte Ralstin — monsters are in his blood, apparently; he is currently playing Uncle Fester in Arizona Repertory Theatre’s “The Addams Family.” Ralstin, music director and vocal coach at the UA School of Theatre, Film and Television, will be decked out as the man-made monster, with Fitzsimmons-as-Igor at his side.

Trisa Schorr, with the Tucson Festival of Books steering committee, said she knew Ralstin would be the right person to lead the party after she saw him emcee a “The Sound of Music” singalong event at The Loft Cinema years ago.

“I could tell he had a great sense of humor just from that and an out-sized personality and I just thought he was adorable,” Schorr said. “When we were thinking about Frankenstein, of course I hearkened back to that emcee gig that he had done before, and I thought he’s tall, he’s got big shoulders, he has a great sense of humor, he’s really fun, and I just thought what a great match.”

Ava Garcia is a University of Arizona journalism student apprenticing at the Star.

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