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Dracula: The Musical?

a Musical
CATEGORY : COMEDY MUSICAL
by Rick Abbot

COMPANY : Neighborhood Playhouse [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Neighborhood Playhouse [WEBSITE]
ID# 1425

SHOWING : January 26, 2006 - February 26, 2006

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Jeffery Brown
Lighting Designer Tom Gillespie
Set Design Harley Gould
Costume Designer Clint Horne
Stage Manager Christopher M. McKenzie
Music Director Camilla L. Sanders
Dracula Brad Bergeron
Sam Charlie Bradshaw
Van Helsing Matthew Carter
Boris Renfield Ken McMillian
Bubu Patty Mosley
Sophia Renee Najour Payne
Mina Amanda Leigh Pickard
Nelly Karen Whitaker
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REVIEWS

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DRACULA HITS THE MARK!
by FromMyEyes
Saturday, February 4, 2006
5.0
Okay, I admit that I have been discouraged. After attending local theaters, seeing a few brilliant performances, and several bad ones, I had come to the conclusion that I would not see a show that had consistently good direction and a consistently good cast. This all changed last weekend with Dracula: The Musical. It had pacing, laughs, character interaction and everything you want to see when out at the theatre. Letís start with the mood as you walk into the theater and see the creative set design (Harley Ghould). A spooky, yet elegant castle with fireplace ablaze. The show is not your traditional Dracula from that point on. It is a spoof. A very well written spoof performed by a group of gifted actors, all with a true sense of comedy. We have the brass maid (Karen Whitaker) who opens the show and is a closet drinker. She spouts out her lines with charisma that is not lost by the audience. You have Dr & Mrs. Seward (Charlie Bradshaw & Renee Najour Payne) Who act like they have been married for ever, and toss off droll little snippets, with her playing dumb to a fault. Mina, their daughter (Amanda Leigh Pickard) has a pretty voice and a vast range of facial expressions and reactions that make her a delight to watch. There is the houseguest (that has no real apparent reason for being there played by Patty Mosley. She performs one of the most memorable vocal numbers in the show in a sexy white night gown with the other women (worth the price of admission). Stealing the show are is of course Dracula (Brad Bergeron, an Indiana Jones like Van Helsing (Mathew Carter) and a believably certifiable Boris Renfield (Ken McMillian). These characters comic reactions, over the top acting and pure energy are contagious to the other cast members. These men have made each character different and unique as to keep the audience interested at all times.
The director (Jeffery Brown) did an amazing job with stage pictures and blocking. His pacing is some of the best I have seen. My only complaint is that sometimes the lines went by so fast, without any dramatic pause, that we lost the joke. Double takes and reactions are just as important in this wacky kind of (Airplane/ Mel Brooks style) humor, as pacing and timing. Characters should have been given more time to place reactions. The script by Rick Abott is wickedly funny, but the songs (save maybe two) are not memorable. The lighting design was flawless (Tom Gillespie) and the costumes were some of the nicest I have seen. I think perhaps the use of wigs was a bit over done, but that is just personal taste. My hats off to the costumer ( Clint Horne) for his creativity.

Very rarely do I enjoy local theatre as much as I did that night. I will definitely be back to this theater again. Vampires wouldn't keep me away.
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