When you mention Halloween many different things come to mind.. candy, costumes, and classic monster movies. One of the most evil and recognizable characters is Dracula. Over the years there have been several different adaptations of the horror classic dating all the way back to the original in 1931 with Bela Lugosi, then there was the 1992 version in which Gary Oldman played the Dark Prince, and finally as recent as last year when Luke Evans took on the role in “Dracula Untold”.
This year it is coming to the small stage here at the Performing Arts Center, and will only be here for six shows starting on October 9th. This venue has hosted such Broadway hits as “Rent” and ” The Nutcracker” not to mention famous musicians as Leann Rhimes. The nearly 900 seat theater is the perfect setting for telling an intimate love story such as this.
This version will by directed by Randee Trabitz who recently earned her MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Television, Film, and Theater Production at CSULA. She has directed such classics as “Hair” and “The Hobbit” for COC but also has travelled across the country working in such cities as Atlanta and Santa Fe. Trabitz has earned several accolades because of her directing including the 1999 LA Weekly Theater Award for Best Comedy Direction for “The Mystery of Irma Vep” . Not only is Trabitz an acclaimed director but a well versed writer as well. Her upcoming project is “Blacktop Highway”. It will be at the Redcat Theater which is located at the Disney Hall in Los Angeles starting in October.
The book was written by Bram Stoker in 1897 details the story of Johnathan Harker (Connor Gould) who travels to Transylvania to meet with the Count who is looking to purchase an estate in England. In this version Ethan Santiago will be playing Dracula. After several days of suspicious events, Harker becomes increasingly concerned, and is nearly seduced by his fanged female companions. After being gone for several months Mina (Shannon Pedroza) becomes very concerned about her fiancée. In his abscence she meets a charming man who introduces himself as Prince Vlad. Over time she becomes fixated on him, but when she learns of Jonathan’s return she must say goodbye to him.
Meanwhile, barely escaping with his life Harker tries to return to England to rejoin his love. However Mina’s friend Lucy (Jocelyn Fannon) is not so fortunate.. she is seduced by Dracula and eventually killed. All the while Mina fall deeply in love with him. After Lucy’s death Dr. Abraham Van Helsing (Lucas Keeling) is called upon to help. After Van Helsing tells the group what they are up against, they must race against the clock to make sure Dracula does not regain his strength and become all powerful.
Having become a vampire herself she aids her new love to get back to his castle unharmed. With time running out Johnathan and his friends travel in one party while the Doctor and Lucy travel in another. That night Mina and the other female vampires try to seduce Van Helsing, but fail in their attempt. The climax take places at the Count’s castle where it is a battle of good against evil to try and destroy him.
If you are interested in attending this show or any of the other shows this season, you can contact the box at (661)-362-5304 or visit the COC Performing Arts website.