Count Dracula, the world's most famous vampire, returns to the New York stage in DRACULA by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, based on the eponymous novel by Bram Stoker, began previews December 14, prior to its official press opening January 5 at the Little Shubert Theatre (442 West 42nd Street). Paul Alexander directs the new production.
Based on the world-famous novel by Bram Stoker, DRACULA is the classic Gothic drama about the power of seduction and the nature of true love. When the mysterious Count Dracula takes an interest in the beautiful, young Lucy who suffers from horrific dreams and a strange illness, he arouses the suspicions of her fiancé Jonathan Harker and Professor Abraham van Helsing. Following a series of grisly murders and unexplained occurrences, the men fear Dracula may be one of the undead that prowls the darkness and preys upon innocent souls.
George Hearn leads the cast as Abraham Van Helsing. Emily Bridges stars as Dracula's love interest Lucy Seward. Jake Silbermann is set to portray Jonathan Harker. John Buffalo Mailer portrays Renfield. In the role of Dr. Seward is Timothy Jerome.
Making his American stage debut, in the title role of Dracula, is Michel Altieri, a major star of the Italian stage who recently starred as the Beast in the Italian premiere of Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and as Tom Collins in the Italian premiere of RENT, produced by Luciano Pavarotti, who handpicked the actor out of 5,000 hopefuls. Among his honors are an Italian Tony Award and a scholarship to study at the Strasberg Institute, awarded by Anna Strasberg and Dennis Hopper.
Also in the cast are Emily Bridges as Miss Wells and Rob O'Hare as Butterworth.
DRACULA features scenic design by Dana Kenn; lighting design by Tony Award-nominee Brian Nason (METAMORPHOSIS); costume design by Tony Award-winner Willa Kim (THE Will Rogers FOLLIES, SOPHISTICATED LADIES); sound design by Chis DelVecchio, and special effects by Greg Meeh.
Adapted by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, DRACULA premiered in New York in 1927, starring Bela Lugosi. DRACULA was last seen on Broadway in 1977, starring Frank Langella. Winning two Tony Awards, including Best Revival, the production ran for more than 900 performances and inspired the 1979 film adaptation featuring Mr. Langella and Sir Laurence Olivier. Bram Stoker's horror novel "Dracula," which itself is based on European folklore, has been an international phenomenon since it was first published in 1897. The novel's influence on the popularity of vampires has been singularly responsible for numerous stage, film and TV interpretations, including the modern-day vampires of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series, HBO's "True Blood," and L.J. Smith's "The Vampire Diaries."
Director Paul Alexander is the author of STRANGERS IN THE LAND OF CANAAN and EDGE, which he directed. Developed at The Actors Studio, EDGE, the critically acclaimed one-woman show about Sylvia Plath earned an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination and was performed more than 400 times in four countries. A major European tour starring Spanish actress Sofia Alves begins in February 2011. Shane Salerno's much-anticipated forthcoming feature documentary about J.D. Salinger is based on Alexander's book, "Salinger." Alexander wrote "Good Night, Dorothy Kilgallen," an original screenplay for Twentieth Century Fox. He is also the author of eight books, including "Rough Magic," a biography of Sylvia Plath, and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams: The Life, Times, and Legend of James Dean." He directed the British revival of DEATH AND THE MAIDEN; NEW YORK STORIES, and evening of one-act plays by Paul Manuel Kane; and "Brothers in Arms," a documentary about John Kerry and Vietnam (First Run Features). He is a member of PEN American Center and the Playwrights and Directors Unit of The Actors Studio.
DRACULA is produced by Bram Stoker's Dracula LLC, Tony Travis, George and Donna Shipley, Ed Bankole, Megan Barnett, Leslie Evers, Michael Alden, and Carolyn Bechtel.
Performances of DRACULA run December 14-March 13 at the Little Shubert Theatre (442 West 42nd Street):
For more information about Bram Stoker's DRACULA at the Little Shubert,
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg