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New Dracula in LA

October contains Halloween, and as a result theatre-goers with a taste for the gothic can look forward to productions of Dracula.  These vary from the Balderson-Deane classic (which made Bela Lugosi famous) to such fresh takes as last year’s “feminist” version or an adaptation on roller skates or for that matter more than a few…Continue readingNew Dracula in LA

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New Feminist Dracula

Many and varied are the stage adaptations of Bram Stoker‘s famous novel. Most famous of course is the Balderston-Deane version that brought stardom to Bela Lugosi, Ted Miller’s Count Dracula, the Frank Wildhorn musical (perhaps most famously done in Japan with a female Count), even Orson Wells’ radio adaptation. Theatre 68 (which produces works for…Continue readingNew Feminist Dracula

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Review of Renfield The Undead

Years ago, some friends of mine attended a summer school that had a pair of cordon bleu chefs on staff.  One can imagine the meals!  Rich, delicious, works of art really.  Then, one morning, they walked into the cafeteria to see something new.  Bowls.  Spoons.  Pitchers of milk.  And lined up, in a neat row,…Continue readingReview of Renfield The Undead

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Dark Shadows Update #2

Cameras begin rolling on the new Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version of “Dark Shadows” in April, and not surprisingly the filmmakers are trying to keep all the details relatively hidden. Yet we do know some things, including the fact Michelle Pfeiffer (who last worked with Burton as Catwoman in “Batman Returns”) will be playing Liz Collins…Continue readingDark Shadows Update #2

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The Curious Case of Jonathan Harker

Bram Stoker seems like a such a conservative. He pursued a career as a government clerk until a better opportunity in entertainment presented itself. As manager of a hugely successful actor and theatre, he and his primly beautiful wife reveled as they walked amid high society. His novels abound with staunchly Victorian ideas and prejudices.…Continue readingThe Curious Case of Jonathan Harker

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What to do with Dracula?

Draculas have begun to feel like a dime a dozen. Starting with the milestone silent film “Nosferatu” (i.e. skeletal, rat-fanged, pointy-eared) we’ve seen Eastern European versions, Spanish ones, porn Draculas, English Draculas, at least one female Dracula, effete Draculas, etc. We’ve seen the world’s most famous Transylvanian as suave, brutal, silent, wordy, young, old, Byronic,…Continue readingWhat to do with Dracula?

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Vampires and Servants

Something that is used in quite a few vampire books, movies and shows is the whole vampire and vampire’s servant relationship. You have the Underworld movies where the lycans are the daytime protectors and slaves to the vampires. Then in Bram Stoker’s Dracula you’ve got the insane Renfield who worships Dracula and is completely devoted…Continue readingVampires and Servants

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Renfield Syndrome

The official status of clinical vampirism, otherwise called Renfield Syndrome, is currently popularized, though rarely emulated by criminals. Unfortunately, because of its rare appearance in society, it doesn’t actually appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The current version, the DSM-IV is a list of all mental disorders, that includes the criteria…Continue readingRenfield Syndrome

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Vampire Subculture: Sanguinarians

The vampire lifestyle, or subculture has existed for many years, although it’s been growing over the last few decades. Many believe that the lifestyle has grown out of and stemmed from the Goth subculture, while still retaining elements and mannerisms of those participating in the S/M lifestyle. The two types of vampires in the subculture…Continue readingVampire Subculture: Sanguinarians