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Dracula at LTA a ghoulish thrill

Kirsten Obadal
By Kirsten Obadal
Posted on Oct 17,2018
Filed Under Entertainment , Local Style,

Photo by Doug Olmsted
Heather Benjamin as Mina Murray and Brendan Quinn as Jonathan Harker

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - LTA scores a lavish, rich, and engaging show with its production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  From beginning to end, with more than 100 lighting and sound cues, this sensuous production does ample justice to a classic.

The director, Jennifer Lyman, notes that “Everyone has heard of Dracula and has an image in their mind of the iconic character…There are novels, musicals, operas, ballets, radio dramas, music and games that feature Dracula.  People travel…to experience Bram Stoker-focused tourism.” Indeed it poses a challenge for a theater to make this time-honored story into a fresh, unexpected, and entertaining evening; however, the Little Theater pulls this off in style.

Lighting over the stone walls of the set changes from the innocence and bright cheerfulness of an English morning to the threatening full-moon red of devilish things that happen in the night.  We watch in terror as Renfield’s (Jeff Elmore) brush with evil brings him to insanity, and this depiction of madness steals the show.  Not to be outdone though is a strong cast, with Chris Anderson giving us a coolly confident and lustful Count Dracula.

With the script by Steven Dietz, producer Charlotte Corneliuson and Nick Friedlander brought in director Jennifer Lyman.  The noteworthy set design is by Matt Liptak, with lighting design by JK lighting Design’s duo Jeffrey Scott Auerbach and Kimberly Crago.  Together with sound (by Janice Rivera), we are treated to various moods that are felt in the gut.

Theater-goers gushed with enthusiasm: Karena from Alexandria observed, “Renfield’s performance was excellent.  The lighting is also very good.”  Teenage Maya, who performs in theater at a local high school, said, “I thought it was very good, spooky, emotional; and the set was spectacular. It had humor but it was also a drama. I loved it.”

This somewhat long play was also marked by a lot of physical action on the stage, which actor Kirk Lambert noted was “Hard, then difficult, then very hard.”  Lambert portrayed Abraham Van Helsing, a rare disease specialist brought in by Dr. Seward (Griffin Voltmann).

For this reviewer, community theater does not get any better. Not to be missed this Halloween.  The play runs until November 3rd.

Box Office: 703-683-0496 Business
Office: 703-683-5778 Fax: 703-683-1378

Photo by Doug Olmsted
Lynley Peoples as Lucy Westenra and Chris Andersen as Dracula

Photo by Doug Olmsted
Chris Andersen as Dracula

Photo by Doug Olmsted
Jeff Elmore as Renfield

Photo by Doug Olmsted
Brendan Quinn as Jonathan Harker, Lynley Peoples as Lucy Westenra, Griffin Voltmann as Dr. John Seward, and Kirk Lambert as Abraham Van Helsing

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