by Joe Basque, Contributor
Unlike UNO’s production, which uses Steven Dietz’s 1996 adaptation, Chanticleer’s “Dracula” uses the original Hamilton Deane/John L. Balderston adaptation. The 1931 movie classic, starring Bela Lugosi, was based on this version. Lugosi also starred in the 1927 Broadway production, his first major English speaking role. Matt Kelehan, a veteran of many a Shelterskelter, as well as Omaha Community Playhouse productions including “The Fantastiks” and “Twelve Angry Men,” will star as Dracula. This excellent cast also includes Andy Neiss as Renfield and Amanda Vyhnalek (Rounds) as Lucy.
Schweiger says the challenge with directing “Dracula” today is figuring out how to scare an audience that is used to high tech movie special effects, not to mention our desensitization to violence in everyday life. “When the audience is used to seeing horrifying images on TV and the internet, how do you grab their attention on stage?” While the Chanticleer production will include special effects, Schweiger intends to focus on suspense. “I’m looking for moments where we can make the audience go, ‘woa!’ I want to make them feel uncomfortable.” Who can resist a theater dare like that for Halloween?
“Dracula” by the Chanticleer Community Theater will run from October 23rd through November 1. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, with Sunday matinees at 2 pm. There will be two shows on October 30, at 7:30 and, for those not afraid of the dark, a second show at 10:30. There will be a TAG Nite Out/Bill Bohannon fundraiser on Thursday October 22. Doors open thirty minutes before curtain. The Chanticleer Theater is located at 830 Franklin Avenue in Council Bluffs. Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors and $10 for students, and reservations are available calling (712) 323-9955 in advance of the show or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also purchase tickets on line at http://www.chanticleertheater.com/box-office.