Dracula – L.A. Theatre Works
Bram Stoker’s novel of 1897, Dracula, was published with little popular fanfare. Critics, however, praised the author and put Stoker in the category of Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe. But audiences didn’t flock to the tale of this otherworldly being that feeds off others to preserve eternal life, until the early-mid 1900s when film versions generated enormous press for the title. Invasion stories, during the height of British colonialism, were made popular by Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle and others, but Stoker’s Dracula was like nothing the world had seen. This gothic horror is a classic for all time and has spawned hundreds of spin-offs in popular culture from Twilight to True Blood.
In Charles Morey’s acclaimed adaptation, Count Dracula slips quietly into Victorian London with a cargo of his native Transylvanian soil, necessary for rest between his victims. The city seems helpless against his frightful power, and only one man, the smart and resourceful Dr. Van Helsing, can stop the carnage. But to do this, he must uncover the vampire’s lair and pierce Dracula’s heart with a wooden stake- setting up an epic confrontation of good vs evil. Over the years, the story of Dracula has been used as commentary in modern studies of psychology, women’s issues, and colonialism, while never losing its place as one of the greatest horror stories ever told.