Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors, a new play by Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen, is in the middle of its world-premiere run at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Inspired by Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, this Dracula tale presents a comedic romp through Transylvania, England, and “other frightening places,” as five actors portray a much larger cast of hilarious characters. Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors continues through November 10, and we’re highlighting five reasons why you should catch it before it’s gone.
- The Comedy: This one’s a no-brainer—the word “comedy” is even in the title. Billed as a comedy in the style of Mel Brooks and Monty Python, Dracula leans into the absurdity of the main conceit, allowing the actors to be as silly and irreverent as they please. And there’s numerous types of humor (from plentiful puns to energetic physical comedy to topical jokes), so every audience member will have something to laugh at.
- The Cast: You’ll be hard-pressed to find a harder-working cast in all of Palm Beach County this season. Four of the five featured actors portray at least two characters, with many of them oscillating between roles at a moment’s notice. Paul Carlin, for example, cross-dresses to play Mina Westfeldt and Dr. Jean Van Helsing, characters that appear on stage simultaneously—wait until you see how they pull that off!
- The Dracula: Jared Zirilli is the only performer relegated to one role, and he gives it all he’s got. His Dracula is more Criss Angel than Bela Lugosi, complete with muscle-revealing garb. This undead monster is good-looking, and he knows it. His Transylvanian accent makes his flirtatious repartee with Mallory Newbrough’s Lucy all the juicier, and his confident saunter is bound to elicit bloodlust throughout the theater.
- The Technical Design: There’s so much to love about the technical aspects of this production. Scenic designer Caite Hevner is tasked with transforming the stage with almost as much rapidity as the cast changes characters. A highlight is the sinking ship scene in the first half of the show, when the actors and an array of technical elements come together to arrive at a believable catastrophe. The show also employed a magic and illusions team that helped to bring the mystical components to life.
- The Run Time: At just under 90 minutes, the show is brief, lighthearted, and endlessly entertaining. There is literally not a dull moment to be had. The actors tell you from the very beginning that their goal is to condense Bram Stoker’s 400-ish pages of horror writing into an hour and a half, and—between Greenberg and Rosen’s tight script and the fast-paced nature of the show—they succeed with great aplomb.