Dracula: A Tragedy

Inspired by Bram Stoker’s noveldracula: a tragedy

By Mark Mason

Directed by Stephen James Anderson

At Redtwist Theatre, Chicago

Scary adult late-night Halloween show a well performed treat with loads of tricks

I usually don’t cover late night shows because I’ve found, over the years, that they appeal to a hard drinking  crowd of 20-30somethings who love their nighttime shows crude, raw and physically exciting. Those elements were in abundance at Redtwist Theatre’s  world premiere Dracula: A Tragedy. I was curious about this new show. I wasn’t disappointed with the production elements.

The press notes state: “This October, come face-to-face with evil. London, 1893: insanity is spreading like a red infection over the East End. Human ashes spill from an abandoned ship. Wild-eyed streetwalkers recite Shakespeare sonnets to feed their starving children, and mad killers send bloody notes to newspapers promising a flood of innocent victims. Through the dense fog in the dark streets of a dying city, stalks a force of monstrous evil, as a bloodied band of outsiders sacrifice all to save their country from an unspeakable fate. Redtwist Theatre presents DRACULA: A TRAGEDY, a new adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic horror novel that asks if justice can live in the same world as terror, and what happens to a country when its nightmares come to life. You are invited to enter Dracula’s madhouse: you will see the teeth; you will smell the decay; you will feel the fear.”

dracula: a tragedy

This is a show where all the cast members work hard to create the atmosphere  to vividly create zombie-like characters demented and possessed by the vampire Count Dracula. Jack the Riper meets the other mad killers and a nuthouse owner my Dracula becomes home to his crazy disciples.

Bob Pries’ Dracula leads a dedicated cast bent on surprising us with an ambitious storyline that is filled with much blood, gore and physically challenging action. Horror stories on stage are difficult but this staging in the hands of this cast became a manic adventure that, although it runs a tad long at 90 minutes, is a fun holiday scary treat. Late night patrons will have a good time.

Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: October 1, 2010

At Redtwist Theatre, 1044 Bryn Mawr, Chicago, IL, call 773-728-7529, www.redtwist.org, Sundays – Wednesdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 11:30 pm, Sunday Oct 31 at 11:30 pm, running time is 90 minutes without intermission, Tickets $15, through October 31, 2010