Sample Review Excerpts

JANET McREYNOLDS, DAILY CAMERA, BOULDER, CO: The Dickens Opera House, Longmont's dinner theater, has mounted a fascinating original adaptation of bram Stoker's classic vampire tale, Dracula. . . . Escaping the Victorian claptrap of the stage play by John Balderston and Hamilton Deane (which is generally hammed up for modern audiences) Sharp has gone back to the original. . . . Surrounded by the men, who have been out looking for his box of sacred earth while the romantic interlude was going on, Dracula taunts them with their impotency and secret fears which lead to their obsession with "sexual purity" in women. It is a highly dramatic scene, the heart of Sharp's reinterpretation of the story.

JOHN ASHTON, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, DENVER, CO: The Steamboat Repertory Theater production of "Dracula" is one of the best plays produced in or around Denver in the lst two years. In terms of sustaining a complex mood--haunting, eerie, almost threatening and yet somehow sensual and quite compelling--this all new production is a magnificent success. The play was written by Longmont playwright/actor/producer Richard Sharp. . . . who has had the good sense--which few other play or film witers have had in recent feeble attempts at capturing the Dracula myth--to transfer the Gothic lyricism of the novel to a script. Sharp's "Dracula" has essentially an emotional appeal, and the viewer is put through a lot of satisfying cathartic changes during the course of the two hour play as it wends through melodrama, tongue-in-cheek comedy, intense dramatics, romance, reverence and even slapstick. Indeed, the play's impact is certainly a heavy one, and viewers spill from the theater after the show, obviously more than a little worn out. (And how satisfying it is to experience a play that has the courage and the capability to draw in an audience and make them feel as much as this one does.)

BOB HICKS, THE PORTLAND OREGONIAN: Let's strike to the heart of the matter. The Oregeon Sheakespearean Festival's new production of "Dracula" is so fresh and entertaining that it sets your blood to racing. This "Dracula" mixes bold stagecraft and lusty performances into a show that's funny, scary and visually seductive enough to raise a clatter from the dead. . . . Its blend of the familiar and the unexpected creates a driving force of theatricality. . . . Richard Sharp's adaption of the Bram Stoker novel is witty and well-constructed and the Ashland cast makes the most of it.

BERNARD WEINER, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE:There's fresh blood circulating in San Francisco's downtown theater district. . . . This production is essentially the same "Dracula" that was a deservedly popular hit for two seasons at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival--complete with the spellbinding Ashland set, costumes, music score, special effects and lighting. . . . The biggest problem with the production is its "name" (or rather face) star, John Astin, as the Viennese specialist in the supernatural, Dr. Van Helsing. Astin, known best as Gomez Addams from TV's "The Addams Family," quite simply is not right for the part. He is ill at ease, awkward and programmed in his gestures, flat in his delivery, wild in his accenting. . . . The draw for this production is not a "star" but the stunningly original concept that makes this "Dracula" seem fresh all over again.