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Not that they don't spring up like mushrooms this time every year, but (a) the variety of adaptations on the local theatre scene this year seems unusual, though that may be simply because (b) I have connections to three out of the four I know about.

  • The Building Stage (9/18 - 10/18) opens first, and is also the only one to which I have no connection. Original adaptation. I'm always skeptical of the Drac-as-misunderstood-hero angle, but the multimedia approach sounds promising. I've been curious about it since I saw the audition notice a couple months back -- this seems to be another group joining the burgeoning physicality-heavy theatre scene, which has been rapidly gaining traction with the success of companies like the House and Lookingglass. I've been watching the trend with no little interest, and it would not displease me in the least to see it become as identified with Chicago as improv is.

  • Theatre-Hikes (9/27 - 10/26) is where I did Shrew this summer. It's TheGodawfulHamiltonDeanePlay, but I have faith in Frank's ability to make something watchable out of it, and actually suspect that the hike format will ameliorate some of my structural gripes with that script. Also, there is no such thing as a bad reason to spend a couple hours in the amazingly gorgeous Morton Arboretum.

  • First Folio Shakespeare Festival (10/1 - 11/2) has opted for The Passion of Dracula, a tongue-in-cheek take that premiered in the late 70s. I've read it once, years ago, but never seen it produced. Tricky script -- either too much camp or too much seriousness will smash it flat. I haven't actually seen anything Alison Vesely has directed, but I've heard good things about how she handles Shakespeare comedy, which implies she knows how to trust the text. So it should be fun. Plus their Mina is a friend of mine from a couple past shows, and they're about ten minutes from Office of Doom (in the opposite direction from the next one on the list).

  • Last but of course not least, GreenMan Theatre (10/17 - 11/2) takes on Steven Dietz's 1995 adaptation, which I like more every time I read it. And you'll all be sick of hearing about my Fun With Trying To Eat Jonathan Harker soon enough, so I'll leave it there. *g*


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 8th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
Physicality-heavy? Help those of us who are less theatrically-inclined?

I swear, all this Dracula babble is going to lead me to try to convince the troupe to do a vampire theme if we do a Halloween hafla this year, and I was really more thinking we could do a devils-and-demons theme instead. We've done undead twice now already! (Zombies and ghost pirates.)
Sep. 8th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, fine, MAKE me try to use words to explain about stuff that's not words... ;-P *thinkthinkthink* Relying more on movement for storytelling than is typical, as opposed to spoken language carrying everything. Not necessarily formal dance or mime, but...well, physicality. There's really not a better umbrella word. They're pulling in elements from all kinds of disciplines -- martial arts, circus skills (Lookingglass is closely associated with the Actor's Gymnasium, where we did the workshops for Barnum) -- and really evolving something new.

And if you have a Halloween hafla, I will once again miss it. Along with the trick-or-treaters. The things I do for my art... *melodramatic pose*

Edited at 2008-09-08 09:25 pm (UTC)
Sep. 8th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
Is there a bad to a trifecta of undead?
Sep. 8th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
Good question. Maybe if the demons don't take kindly to being snubbed...

Edited at 2008-09-08 09:46 pm (UTC)
Sep. 8th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
...good point.
Sep. 8th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
As long as none of the productions is "Dracula Baby", a truly awful musical "comedy" that was produced at my high school. Why the drama teacher chose that play, I do not know, though doubtless the royalties were well within budget.

A friend had a bit part in the play, and I helped him learn his lines. They are permanently burned into my brain:

"Josh, it's rumored that the evil Count Dracula has returned to his castle!"

"Yes, I've heard that the city's blood bank is down to two pints."
Sep. 8th, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of high school drama teachers. There are some astoundingly bad scripts out there for them, that's for darn sure...
Sep. 8th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
The play might have been fun if produced as tongue-in-cheek and campy. But high-school students, y'know, lack that certain something that could pull it off.
Sep. 8th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
I suspect it would have been a tall order to make it work. There are a lot of shows -- especially musicals -- written specifically for school productions that are just horrifically bad. Apparently it's harder than it should be to combine affordable royalties, age-appropriate technique demands, and watchability.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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