Don Black |
Don Black |
|Basis||Novel Dracula by Bram Stoker|
2001 San Diego |
2005 Theater St. Gallen
2006 Mercer, NJ
2007 Graz, Austria
2009 Klagenfurt, Austria
2010 Montreal Canada
2011 Tokyo & Osaka, Japan
It had its regional premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, California, in 2001, and then premiered on Broadway in 2004. It starred Tom Hewitt as the frightening Count and Melissa Errico as the woman he loves, Mina Harker. The show ran for only 154 performances, and received mainly negative reviews. A brief nudity scene in which Dracula seduces Lucy Westerna (played by Kelli O'Hara) received much publicity, as did the show's numerous and spectacular special effects. The show later had engagements in Europe.
Jonathan Harker, a young lawyer from England, travels to Transylvania in order to fix a deal with Count Dracula, who wants to buy a home in London. However, the Count notices a picture of Jonathan's fiancée Mina Murray, which seems to have a strange effect on him. Harker's stay in the remote castle is turning more and more into a nightmare. Harker manages to escape - after being bitten by his host - to Budapest. Mina travels to him and marries him, while Mina's friend Lucy is marrying Arthur in London.
In the meantime, Dracula has reached London and starts searching for victims. He contacts Renfield and promises him eternal life in exchange for his service. His first victim is Lucy, who dies soon after he bites her. Even the renowned vampire expert Van Helsing cannot help her anymore. Lucy, however, turns into a vampire herself and - with the assistance of Dr. Van Helsing - is killed by her former love interests, Quincey and Jack, in her tomb.
Mina feels a strange attraction to the Count. Torn between her fear and love, she eventually invites him to come in. Dracula lets her taste his blood, intending to turn her into a vampire as well. Later on, he has to escape from London, because the vampire hunters are closing in on him. His enemies follow him. They take Mina, who is connected to the Count telepathically, with them.
At the Count's Castle, the final showdown takes place. While the vampire hunters fight with an entire army of vampires, Mina now decides to follow her beloved Dracula into the darkness. But Dracula realizes that this should not be Mina's fate. He asks Mina to release him from his doomed existence. With tears running down her face, she fulfills her lover's last wish. 
The musical had its world premiere developmental engagement at La Jolla Playhouse from October 9 to November 25, 2001, starring Tom Hewitt in the title role. The musical, after several revisions and additional workshops premiered on Broadway at the Belasco Theatre on August 19, 2004 and closed on January 2, 2005 after 157 performances and 22 previews. Directed by Des McAnuff, the choreography was by Mindy Cooper, the scenic design by Heidi Ettinger, costume design by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Howell Binkley orchestrations by Doug Besterman and special effects by Flying by Foy. The musical starred Tom Hewitt, along with Melissa Errico as Mina. Darren Ritchie joined as Jonathan Harker, with Stephen McKinley Henderson as Van Helsing, and Chris Hoch as Arthur Holmwood. The show featured Don Stephenson as Renfield, and Kelli O'Hara as Lucy. Chuck Wagner was the standby for the roles of Dracula and Van Helsing. Elizabeth Loyacano was promoted to stand-by for Errico, after the role proved to be more demanding then it had been previously expected. She performed the role from September 7 through October 13. The original Catherine Zuber designed wardrobe is on display at the Costume World Broadway Collection in Pompano Beach, Florida.
After the show closed on January 2, 2005, the musical made its international debut at Theater St. Gallen, Switzerland, from April 23, 2005 to June 6, 2006. This was in a much revised form, with many changes that Wildhorn had reportedly wanted for Broadway. This version included 6 new songs, performed by a 40-piece orchestra and a European cast, led by Thomas Borchert.
The musical played an engagement at the Graz, Austria Summer Festival in August 2007, starring Thomas Borchert and Lyn Liechty. The show received several more revisions as well as a complete new orchestration by Koen Schoots and was considered a rave. This production was recorded.
The UK premiere of the musical took place in March 2010 at The Lowther Pavilion, Lytham St Anne's, Lancashire. Produced by AV Productions the cast included Andy Vitolo as Dracula, Mairi Claire Connor as Mina, Mike Cosgrove as Van Helsing, Jeremy Clark as Jonathan Harker, Lucy Fellows as Lucy Westenra, Derek Winward as Arthur/Renfield and Phil Gwilliam as Dr Jack Seward, subsequent performances took place at The Lancaster Grand Theatre in September the same year.
Songs (Austria) Edit
(* new songs added to the show in revised version)
Critical response Edit
Musical theater critics have disliked Wildhorn musicals, and Dracula is no exception. Reviews were universally negative, referring to the lyrics as simply unoriginal, and to the music as monotonous and derivative of both Andrew Lloyd Webber and Wildhorn's previous productions. Though this production was intended as a serious, dramatic interpretation of the source material, critics complained of a complete lack of emotion in general, and of suspense and horror in particular. Also, while the plot of the musical hits all the major points of Stoker's novel, it does so in such an obtuse way that audience members unfamiliar with the story may find themselves unable to comprehend the action.
However the new, revised version, that opened in Graz, Austria, in the Summer of 2007 was very successful among critics and audiences. The version of the show licensed by Music Theatre International is based on this production. A Cast Recording was released in 2008 and was a huge hit in the sale charts.
- Concept Album
- Recorded in 2005. A concept recording created by GlobalVision Records and was released on Amazon MP3 and iTunes on June 6, 2011. It features James Barbour in the title role alongside Kate Shindle as Mina, Lauren Kennedy as Lucy, Rob Evan as Harker, Norm Lewis as Van Helsing, and Euan Morton as Reinfeld.
- World Premiere Recording - Austrian Cast
- In 2008 was released the first Cast Recording of the show, produced by HitSquad Records with the Cast of the Summer Festival in Graz, Austria. The CD contains the new, revised, re-orchestrated version of the show, being now quite different from the Broadway flop. The CD features Thomas Borchert as Dracula, Uwe Kröger as Van Helsing, Jesper Tydén as Jonathan, Lyn Liechty as Mina and Caroline Vasicek as Lucy. The new german version was a hit, and the CD was for almost half a year in the top of sales at Soundofmusic-shop.de the biggest Musical-Related store in Continental Europe.
- Demo/Promotional Recordings
- Demo Recording (2000) - featuring Douglas Sills as Dracula, Christiane Noll as Mina, Alice Ripley as Lucy, Rob Evan as Harker, Chuck Wagner as Van Helsing and William Youmans as Reinfeld.
- Guy LeMonnier Demo (2003) - featuring Guy LeMonnier as Dracula.
- Broadway Promo (2004) - featuring Tom Hewitt as Dracula, Melissa Errico as Mina, Lauren Kennedy as Lucy and Rob Evan as Harker.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Brantley, Ben.The New York Times, August 20, 2004
- ↑ "Kelli O'Hara Interview broadway.com, September 28, 2004
- ↑ Dracula: Productions frankwildhorn.com
- ↑ Dracula, the Musical :: The (Many) Scripts
- ↑ LaJolla History lajollaplayhouse.org, retrieved January 10, 2010
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Dracula listing ibdb.com, retrieved January 10, 2010
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Simonson, Robert and Jones, Kenneth."Dracula, the Musical Has First Broadway Preview July 30" playbill.com, July 30, 2004
- ↑ Jones, Kenneth."Melissa Errico Returns to the Lair of Dracula Oct. 14" playbill.com, October 14, 2004
- ↑ Jones, Kenneth."Wildhorn's Dracula Musical Makes European Premiere, With New Songs" playbill.com, May 9, 2005
- ↑ Dracula productions frankwildhorn.com, retrieved January 10, 2010
- ↑ Dracula notes frankwildhorn.com, retrieved January 10, 2010
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Dracula recording frankwildhorn.com, retrieved January 10, 2010
- ↑ Suisman, Charlie."Cue the Pop Ballad, Warn the Critics"The New York Times, August 15, 2004
- ↑ Pogrebin, Robin."Broadway's Critic-Proof Composer Says This Is (Still) His Moment; Like His 'Scarlet Pimpernel,' Frank Wildhorn Keeps on Going"The New York Times, October 6, 1999
- ↑ Dracula - Let's Put On A Show - New York Magazine Theater Review
- ↑ Gutman, Les."Dracula The Musical, a CurtainUp review" curtainup.com, August 24, 2004
- ↑ Talkin' Broadway Review: Dracula
- ↑ Gans, Andrew."Koch Records to Release Dracula and New Jekyll Recordings" playbill.com, December 24, 2005
- Dracula - The Musical by Frank Wildhorn
- Dracula, the Musical at the Internet Broadway Database
- Dracula production and plot at guidetomusicaltheatre.com
- Dracula production currently in Montreal Canada
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