Review Roundup: DRACULA, A COMEDY OF TERRORS Opens at New World Stages

Performances will run through January 7.

By: Sep. 19, 2023
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Review Roundup: DRACULA, A COMEDY OF TERRORS Opens at New World Stages

Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors by Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen, officially opened at New World Stages last night, September 18. Performances will run through January 7. 

Directed by Gordon Greenberg, Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors features a company of fearless actors including Jordan Boatman (Medea at BAM, The Niceties), Arnie Burton (The 39 Steps, Peter and The Starcatcher), James Daly (Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival,  Hulu’s “Letterkenny”), Ellen Harvey (How To Succeed, Present Laughter) and Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Disney’s Newsies, Tuck Everlasting). The company understudies are Kaitlyn Boyer and Sean-Michael Wilkinson. 

Bram Stoker’s horror classic gets a riotous makeover in this lightning-fast comedic reimagining that celebrates goth, camp, sexuality, and the magic of live theatre. This 90-minute, gender-bending, quick-change romp features a pansexual GenZ Count Dracula in the midst of an existential crisis. When he sets his sights on the brilliant young earth scientist Lucy Westfeldt, he meets his match for the first time – as well as a slew of other colorful characters including vampire hunter Jean Van Helsing, insect connoisseur Percy Renfield and behavioral psychiatrist Wallace Westfeldt, whose British country estate doubles as a free-range mental asylum. With a cast of brilliant quick take comedians, this Dracula will make you scream... with laughter.

Read the reviews below!

Review Roundup: DRACULA, A COMEDY OF TERRORS Opens at New World Stages Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Times: For the show to really work, it needs more moments like that one: simple, goofy and fast. That last quality is important in farce, but unfortunately, in this case, the second half of the evening drags a bit. Some scenes even slow down enough to suggest … emotions? In this context, that’s just like garlic to a vampire.

Review Roundup: DRACULA, A COMEDY OF TERRORS Opens at New World Stages Elysa Gardner, New York Sun: Mr. Greenberg and his designers — notable among them Tijana Bjelajac, who crafted the spare set and minimalist puppets, and Victoria Deiorio, who provides both flamboyant sound and mock-spooky original music — maintain a freewheeling, let’s-put-on-a-show vibe that makes these highly skilled performances seem effortless. The script, similarly, throws goofball pitches with a speed and dexterity plainly born of sophistication.

Review Roundup: DRACULA, A COMEDY OF TERRORS Opens at New World Stages Sandy MacDonald, New York Stage Review: Who couldn’t use a good laugh right about now? How about 90 minutes’ worth, nonstop? As the threat of viral infection wafts about the city once again like some Victorian miasma, we’re due for some comic relief. You’ll find it, amid some stage-fog spritzes, in Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors, playing at New World Stages.

Review Roundup: DRACULA, A COMEDY OF TERRORS Opens at New World Stages Melissa Rose Bernardo, New York Stage Review: Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen’s diverting new Dracula, which just opened at New World Stages, is subtitled A Comedy of Terrors, which gives you a hint of the zaniness that’s in store. Think Monty Python, with fewer silly walks. The madcap, manic Tricycle Theatre production of The 39 Steps. Perhaps a dash of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, without the glitter.

Review Roundup: DRACULA, A COMEDY OF TERRORS Opens at New World Stages Kyle Turner, New York Theatre Guide: The show makes it difficult to begrudge pointing out the occasional imprecise, maybe, I’ll say it, potentially transphobic “man in a dress” nature to some of the jokes because, after all, it advertises itself as a gender-bending reenvisioning of the text. But the jokes Harvey, who plays Renfield and Dr. Westfeldt, tells have more to do either with insanity or the doctor’s misogyny. Irony, certainly, but not necessarily the same as the joke being about Harvey crossing gender in her performance. It’s a shame to have to mildly take the show to task because, next to Daly, Burton has the most fun on stage, truly going buck wild with his expressions and gestures, pushing Dracula’s tone to its very limits. But, perhaps that’s the lesson of the Victorians after all: you push too hard against certain boundaries without having a plan for the consequences and get bitten.

Review Roundup: DRACULA, A COMEDY OF TERRORS Opens at New World Stages Deb Miller, DC Theater Arts: Under Greenberg’s rapid-fire no-holds-barred direction, the 90-minute farce of a fright fest is framed in the meta-theatrical device of five Actors presenting a play, with four of them performing multiple quick-change roles (sometimes opposite themselves at a dizzying pace), in a laugh-out-loud mash-up of the Victorian era and now.

Review Roundup: DRACULA, A COMEDY OF TERRORS Opens at New World Stages Brian Scott Lipton , Theater Pizzazz: Indeed, what matters most here is the sublime work of a five-person ensemble who, pun intended, sink their teeth into this production with the right amount of seriousness and silliness. The ultra-buff James Daly is the only actor with only one job to do, and he does it quite well: offering up a preening, pouty Dracula who believes that his looks can get him whatever he wants—and when, surprisingly, they don’t—takes a bite of whatever (or whomever) he gets his hands on.

Review Roundup: DRACULA, A COMEDY OF TERRORS Opens at New World Stages
Average Rating: 71.4%


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