BWW Review: DRACULA at Elite Dance & Theatre
The story of Bram Stoker's Dracula is a classic, a story that everyone has heard of, at least in passing. In the novel, Jonathan Harker, a newly qualified English solicitor, travels to Count Dracula's castle in the Carpathian Mountains for business. Harker has been given the task of providing legal support to the Count for a real estate transaction. Shortly after Harker arrives, he comes to realize that not everything is what it seems. From that point on, Harker does whatever he can to stop Count Dracula from destroying everything Harker holds dear in England. With the assistance of his friends - Abraham Van Helsing, John Steward, Quincey Morris, Arthur Holmwood, and Harker's wife, Mina - Jonathan Harker helps to defeat Count Dracula before it is too late. Elite Dance & Theatre's production of Dracula, directed and adapted by Cheri Costales, takes the classic story of love, courage, and friendship and reinvents it into a unique performance that provides an entertaining night at the theater for everyone.
As is always the case with Elite Dance & Theatre's productions, the choreography (by Cheri Costales, Alyssa Costales, Vanessa Trujillo, Cara Sowers, Esther Michnovicz, and Steve Corona) is incredible to watch. Using a variety of dance forms, including Arial silk dancing, the otherworldliness of Dracula and his Brides/"Horrids" (Esther Michnovicz, Vanessa Trujillo, Aly Costales) is portrayed in a beautiful and breathtaking way. There are multiple scenes with rats attacking characters that are creatively choreographed and performed in a way that captured the audience's attention each time. The costuming and staging of the production, by Cheri Costales, Linda Downum, and Judy Brewster, helped to evoke a feeling of Victorian times.
The entire cast of Dracula did a wonderful job with the material, but there were several standout performances. As Count Dracula himself, Tim Nguyen had a commanding presence onstage and was able to be bring an intimidating edge to the character when needed. Steve Corona, as Jonathan Harker, was the backbone to the story and was especially convincing when Harker finds himself in a mental institution after his encounter with Dracula. As Mina, Cara Sowers is the heart of the production, bringing together her friends and loved ones to try and stop Dracula. In his debut at Elite Dance & Theatre, Ron Weisburg is phenomenal as Renfield, expressing the character's madness and dedication to Dracula in a real and believable way.
Elite Theatre & Dance's production of Dracula runs from September 6, 2019 - September 14, 2019. Tickets cost $23 and can be purchased by calling (505) 250-1433 or online at: https://elitedancetheatre.net/ticket-page.