Dracula at Actor’s

» Posted by on Nov 11, 2011 in Blog, Theater | 0 comments

By Dustin Meyer

Fall is a time of cool weather festivities and long standing traditions, be it reaping the harvest, Halloween or seeing Dracula at Actor's Theater. This year's production (adapted and directed by William McNulty and based on Bram Stoker's novel of the same name) is phenomenally entertaining. If it's gore you're after, Dracula holds the key to your bloody little heart. The tale revolves around a character similar (albeit not referenced) to Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia and Dracula, son of the Dragon who has lived hundreds of years as a vampire, feeding his immortality on the innocent blood of the unsuspecting. Dracula has developed a mysterious interest in Jonathan's fiancé, Lucy, and has lured her to his lair. With the assistance of Doctor Van Helsing, Jonathan sets out to save Lucy and rid the world of Dracula's evil.

Alex Morfas, playing the eccentric asylum madman, Renfield, brought more charm and satisfaction to his portrayal than did Tom Waits in the Francis Ford Coppola movie adaption (Bram Stoker's Dracula, 1992). Until now, the only dramatization of the novel I had ever seen was that film, and it left an unfortunately cornball impression. Actor's production resurrected my appreciation of Stoker's timeless tale. Rufio Lerma, portraying Count Dracula, gives a charismatic, saucy and suave performance. His intensity draws the audience deep into the dark clutches of McNulty's direction, which is chillingly combined with the toxic decadence of Bram Stoker's story. With no hesitation, I can say that the whole cast gives an arousing and passionate performance, from the oozing of blood to the shrillest screams. Not too shabby for the seventeenth consecutive season of Dracula at Actor's. The production is as fresh as the blood that its haunted antagonist spills.

I can't stress enough how important it is to keep places like Actor's Theatre supported, especially when they go out of their way to create amazing shows year after year. Louisville is fortunate to have such well done theater in its proverbial living room. Actor's presentation of Dracula certainly starts the Halloween season off on its best foot, if not on a downright thrilling one.
Once the cast digs its teeth into the rich dialogue, delivering heroic and curdling performances to Stoker's masterpiece, you can't help but cozy up to the idea of spending a cool October evening with the delightful cast of Dracula. It's when the theater becomes red-hued and dusty and you can almost smell the adrenaline sifting from heart-palpitating panic that you remember why you love to see the tale unfold again -and again. Your pulse quickens. Your pupils dilate. Before you know it, the curtains close. You can't help clapping. My how time flies when your inner goth is having fun!