Dracula has always been one of my favorite Universal Horror Monsters. When it came to horror movies or horror books, I was always drawn to those that had to do with vampire lore (with the exception of the Twilight series). Vampires always had a certain aura about them - they are killers, yes, but they exude sensuality and rebellion. Once under their spell there is no turning back. So you can believe my excitement when I was asked to attend a live adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula! How could I turn down this opportunity?
This was hands down one of the most amazing live shows I have seen. Not only did they follow closely to Bram Stoker’s Dracula but everything about the play was incredible! I was captivated from the opening scene to the last exchange and all the actors did such incredible jobs. This play had everything; action, drama, love, sensuality, horror, gore, and blood. LOTS and LOTS of blood. The entire play is done on a small stage at the NoHo Art Center in North Hollywood and I have to commend them, they make that stage their own! Since there is not a whole lot of room to work with, the actors and actresses make sure to use up every spare inch to their advantage. As an interior designer and someone who has done set design, I was incredibly impressed with their use and reuse of props. You didn’t get bored with them using the same props because every prop seemed to have a whole different meaning depending on the actor using it. That is something that is incredibly difficult to do and something that this cast did perfectly.
What really made this show incredible though was the actors and actresses. Though the cast was incredibly good, there was one standout performance that I have to make mention of which goes to Kristin Lerner who played “Renfield.” I have always seen “Renfield” played by a male actor and this was the first time I had heard of a woman playing the part. She was absolutely incredible from start to finish, never breaking character once. Renfield is not an easy role to play as he is a man (or in this case a woman) who is losing their mind in a psych ward and it requires not only a lot of emotional acting but physical acting as well. Ms. Lerner nailed the role and honestly I can’t see anyone else playing Renfield as well as Ms. Lerner did. Also, notable mention goes to Robert Home Mollohan who played the titular role of “Dracula.” Those are some big shoes to fill and he was perfect. What I liked most about him was that he was able to put fear within the audience as well as seduction. At the end of the play, you loved to hate him. You were attracted and disgusted at the same time. You wanted to be as far away from him as possible but also leave your window open at night for him. To be able to elicit that type of emotion from the audience is priceless.
Overall, “Dracula” is an amazing show and one of the best events I’ve been to this Halloween season. I was actually really sad when the show was over because I wanted there to be so much more. During the Halloween season, most people are consumed with going to haunts, pumpkin patches, and Trick or Treating, but there are so many other amazing Halloween events going on. I give a round of applause to Sophia Watt and Ronnie Marmo for putting on an amazing event and for sticking true to the origins of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. If you are a fan of vampire lore, blood splatter, and a terrific theatre experience than I urge you to check out “Dracula.”
Dracula is playing at the Noho Arts Center - Stage 2 at 11136 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601 with shows running from now till November 1 on Friday & Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7pm. For additional information or to buy tickets check out their website https://www.plays411.net/newsite/show/play_info.asp?show_id=4350
Until next time, stay creepy!