Monday January 23rd 2017

“Dr. Seward’s Dracula” Reviewed by Carol Moore

dr-sewards-dracula-8781Highly Recommended **** Halloween is a big deal at First Folio Theatre.  After a macabre Edgar Allen Poe roamed through Mayslake mansion – which some claim is haunted – last year, the Dracula legend takes center stage in 2016.  Playwright Joseph Zettelmaier, a favorite at First Folio, has written “Dr. Seward’s Dracula”, a slightly different twist on the Dracula legend – putting author Bram Stoker in the middle of the plot.  It’s a creepy little gothic story and I give it 3 ½ Spotlights.

Dr. Jack Seward (Christian Gray) was the curator of a sanatorium, and he still lives in a cottage nearby.  A lovely young woman, Emily Covington (Elizabeth Stenholt), tries to care for Jack.  It is only after the arrival of Bram Stoker (Joseph Stearns), who never reacts – even after she sniffs his neck – that we realize she’s a ghost.

Jack has invited Stoker to read his journals and write a book about the Dracula case.  Stoker is determined to write a novel, even though Jack says that every word in those journals are true, he’s only changed the names.  After that comment, Emily realizes that she’s Lucy in the Dracula story, and she’s not happy about it.

Jack and Stoker are discussing the direction of the book when Inspector Louis Carlysle (Craig Spidle) rushes in unannounced.  He investigated the original Dracula murders, and now there’s another body, the original Dr. van Helsing.dracula

Jack is pretty sure he’s going mad because his journals (which he’s positive are true – or are they?) just don’t agree with the facts presented by Inspector Carlysle.  Then there’s the very wierd Strange Man (Ted Ketterman).  Who is this guy?  Could Renfield still be alive?

The set is a somewhat derelict cottage furnished with a bed, a desk and a couple of chairs.  The back of the set has huge shutter-covered windows which are almost always closed, except … well you’ll have to see the play to know why they’re opened.

“Dr. Seward’s Dracula” runs through November 6th at First Folio Theatre, Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st Street & Rt. 83, Oakbrook.  Running time is 1 hour, 40 minutes, with an intermission. dracula4

Performances are as follows:

dracula2 Wednesdays at 8:00 pm

Thursdays at 3:00 pm

Fridays at 8:00 pm

Saturdays at 4:00 and 8:00 pm

Sundays at 3:00 pm.

Tickets range from $29-$39.  Parking is free on the grounds.  FYI (630) 986-8067 or www.firstfolio.org.

To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Dr. Seward’s Dracula”

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