Off-Broadway Revival of Dracula Vanished Into the Night Jan. 9

News   Off-Broadway Revival of Dracula Vanished Into the Night Jan. 9
Morning has dawned early for the Off-Broadway revival of Dracula, starring Italian actor Michel Altieri and Tony Award-winning stage veteran George Hearn. The gothic stage thriller shuttered Jan. 9 at the Little Shubert Theatre after only 32 performances.

Michel Altieri
Michel Altieri Photo by Carol Rosegg

Producers remained tight-lipped throughout the weekend about the production's premature closing, which was indicated on As of Jan. 7, the ticketing service was only showing availability through Jan. 9. Dracula had been scheduled for a limited run through March 13.

The production faced trouble early on when screen actress Thora Birch, who was to star as doomed maiden Lucy Seward, was abruptly released from her contract on the same day previews were to begin. Emily Bridges assumed the role.

Paul Alexander helmed the 1927 thriller based on Bram Stoker's novel, which began previews Dec. 14 and officially opened Jan. 5. Critics did not take to the production, which played 25 previews and 7 performances.

Altieri, who starred in the Italian premieres of Rent and Beauty and the Beast, made his American stage debut as the blood-thirsty count, with Hearn (La Cage aux Folles, Sweeney Todd, Sunset Boulevard) as vampire hunter Van Helsing.

The cast also featured Tony Award nominee Timothy Jerome as Dr. Seward, Jake Silbermann as Jonathan Harker, John Buffalo Mailer as Renfield, Katharine Luckinbill as Miss Wells and Rob O'Hare as Butterworth.  Dracula had set design by Dana Kenn, costumes by Willa Kim, lighting design by Brian Nason, sound design by Chris DelVecchio and special effects by Greg Meeh.

Bram Stoker's Dracula LLC, Tony Travis, George and Dona Shipley, Ed Bankole, Megan Barnett, Leslie Evers, and Michael Alden produced the engagement.

The stage adaptation made its Broadway premiere on Oct. 5, 1927, at the Fulton Theatre with Bela Lugosi in the title role. Lugosi famously repeated his performance in the 1931 film. To coincide with the film, a Broadway revival of Dracula was staged in 1931 at the Royale Theatre with Courtney White as the star. A Tony-winning 1977 Broadway revival earned Frank Langella a Tony nomination for his work as the blood-thirsty count. Langella also starred in the 1979 film remake that co-starred Sir Laurence Olivier as Van Helsing, Donald Pleasance as Dr. Jack Seward and Kate Nelligan as Lucy Seward.

The new country musical Lucky Guy was previously announced to begin performances at the Little Shubert April 28.

George Hearn, Jake Silbermann and John Buffalo Mailer
George Hearn, Jake Silbermann and John Buffalo Mailer
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