Review by Liz Eichler of “Dracula”: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
If youâ€™ve never been to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, â€œDraculaâ€ is a great opportunity to enjoy aÂ very accessible show and explore a beautiful space. This amazing professional company finally has a larger, more audience friendly space in the Otto M. Budig Theatre on Elm Street. The season is one of the most varied, with something for everyone. â€œDracula,â€ playing now through November 4, and is perfect for the season and new audiences: it is delightfully spooky, a little bit scary, lush, and beautifully done.
There are surprises, be warned. Director Brian Isaac Phillips (Producing Artistic Director) includes all the traditional props (blood, fangs, garlands of garlic) but gleefully adds a few elements sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Dracula himself, Giles Davis, is mesmerizing, as he floats across the stage in an other-worldly physicality.
A few standout performances: Hopkins owns the space as Van Helsing, 110% committed to his beliefs; Chace keeps the audience guessing if he is truly sane or insane; McWethy and McGee delightfully illustrate and expand the boundaries of Victorian morals; and Maggie Lou Rader does the most in her maid cameo.
Costumes (Amanda McGee) and Scenery (Shannon Moore) are lush and rich, perfectly setting the tone. Sound and Video Design (Doug Borntrager) flesh out the story, adding the eerie musical soundtrack, to appropriate gulls, and misty video ambience, also complimented by Justen N. Lockeâ€™s Lighting Design.
If youâ€™ve never been to CSC, develop a taste for great theatre with â€œDracula,â€ My non-theatre going companions were entranced and called it â€œnicely spooky.â€ For tickets go to www.cincyshakes.com