Dracula stalks Elmwood Playhouse

Friday night September 8, “Dracula” opened at the 76 year old fine arts Elmwood Play house in Nyack Earlier in the week this playhouse hosted a blood drive on September 5, and prior to the show there was a thunderstorm making it a perfect night for the opening of Michael Edan’s Adaptation of Bram Stokers 1897 iconic novel about the power of evil in the supernatural tale of infamous Count Dracula.

Before the curtain rises theater staff made the creative choice to serve blood red wine in champagne glasses and charcuterie boards in the foyer graciously welcoming guests, giving out gift bags, and inviting visitors to meet both director Michael Edan and producer Mimi Leahey. This three- act version of “Dracula”, written by Hamilton Deane and John Balderston, was set almost entirely in the library of Dr Seward s sanatorium Dr.Seward, Lucy’s father and Harker, Lucy’s fiance are worried that the young woman is close to death from a mysterious illness in need of blood transfusions experience frightening dreams.

On her throat are two red bite marks shed been hiding with her scarf. A young woman named Mina recently a patient of Dr Seward suffered from same sickness
and died. Renfield a crazed patient of Dr Seward had been developing craving for flies and developed power beyond his control easily escaping any kind of confinement. Both a maid and the attendant of the Santorum are aware that an evil presence is lurking as well. Dr Seward has called Harker and Van Helsing, an expert on strange illnesses, to help his daughter. Having prior knowledge of such cases and after examining Lucy, Van Helsing diagnoses her as being stalked by a vampire.

Later there is a visit by a   dark powerful figure, count Dracula who lives in a neighboring castle: Van Helsing realizes that the Count has been stalking Lucy.

They later search at night for the noctur- nal vampire throughout his castle knowing he’s resting. Descending through the catacombs noticing a coffin they open it sinking a stake into Dracula’s undead heart. Michael Edans adaptation was relatively faithful in his version of this gothic horror with an underlying love between Dracula and Lucy throughout the show.

Unlike a big theater production of “Dracula” having lush scenery or overly saturated sound display Edan used this small stage playhouse for his version of “Dracula” to his benefit, utilizing practical easily implemented stage design making the audience feel more involved in this gothic horror. Without an elaborate production this “Dracula” was more about the actors (all nine cast members), and each artist shared a heartfelt performance that left the audience captivated by the terror on the stage. Every member of the ensemble did a wonderful job feeding (no pun intended) into each other and elevating the production.

The chemistry between these actors brought their characters to life (or death) and it could be felt by the community audience in attendance during the highly anticipated opening night. While speaking with RCT before the show both Michael Edan and Mimi Leahey both agreed that “ the most important thing about tonight is that the audience likes the show!

The play features local actors Derek Tarson of Nyack, Desire’e Cobb- Olari of New City,Donal Lehane of Nanuet Also produced by Mimi Leahey of West Nyack Dracula
will run through October 7 Friday’s and Saturdays at 8 pm Sundays at 2 pm. Tickets are $30 …$27 for Seniors/Military/Youth.

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