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October 15, 1992 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-10-15

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - October 15,1992- Page 3

Dare we
by Michelle Weger
Before Elvira, Mistress of theDark
became a nationally-known persona,
I used to watch her host "Movie Ma-
cabre" on Sunday afternoons. The
show was a huge hit for KHJ-TV, a
small indie station in the Los Angeles
area, and notjustbecause of the buxom
Possessed:
the Dracula Musical
Purple Rose Theatre Company
October 10, 1992
dominatrix's revealing attire and witty
commentary. There was a certain
ironic glee to be had from watching
badly written, acted, and produced B -
horror flicks like "Frankenstein Meets
the Wolfman" and "The Thing."
Watching "Possessed: TheDracula
Musical" at Chelsea's Purple Rose
Theatre, I felt a tug of nostalgia for
those days and wished that the Mis-
tress herself might show up in the
*lobby during intermission. Sadly, she
couldn't -the creators of this origi-
nal musical and the folks at the Purple
Rose are serious about this show.

say that
The Purple Rose Theatre Com-
pany has a reputation for being a very
fine regional troupe, bringing unusual
works to local audiences, but one has
to question their judgment in produc-
ing this show. Robert Marasco and
Jason Darrow's book follows the ba-
sic Dracula formula: tall, sexy, evil,
undead, foreigner terrorizes turn-of-
the-century society by preying on their
young, innocent and bored daughters.
The only interesting twist here is
the setting: a Seward Sanitarium on
the British coast, where the Dark
Prince's lowly helpmate, Renfield, is
being "treated." I could tell it was in
England because at least two of the
characters had heavy cockney accents;
the rest of the cast relied on Costner-
like British inflections, or in the case
of vampire specialist Professor Van
Helsing, no dialect at all.
Having moved into the estate ad-
joining the asylum, Count Dracula,
icily played by Daniel Guzman, makes
Mina (Miriam Shor), the daughter of
the loony bin's founder, his next tar-
get. Even though lyricist Darrow and
composer Carter Cathcart have given
Dracula the most potentially interest-

'Dracula' sucks?

ing songs (as interesting as clichds
about eternal life go, anyway),
Guzman's delivery lacks real depth
and comes off as far too slick, even for
a centuries-old blood sucker. But I
got the feeling that Neil Diamond
could steal Mina away from her ador-
ing but helplessly mortal Jonathan
(Tom Daugherty).
Daugherty and Shor are margin-
ally likable as the two innocents caught
in a nightmare of the Count's making.
They, like the rest of the cast, had
some vocal problems, especially in
the upper ranges. The one musical
bright spot was the Dracula-Mina
Duet, "This Moment with You,"
which gave me a hope for things to
come; this hope was almost immedi-
ately dashed by the cheesily evil Drac
solo "Master of the Living and the
Dead." Even though much of the syn-
thesized score sounds like it may have
been lifted from a porn film, some of
the songs require real lyricism, and
these musical actors could have used
better technical preparation.
The script is largely to blame for
the woodenness of these perfor-
mances. It seems that the actors were

struggling to make something of their
characters, whom Marasco and
Darrow didn't bother to define be-
yond their basic stock outlines. Un-
fortunately, these attempts often re-
sulted in drawn-out, melodramatic
caricatures.
The sole exception was Wayne
David Parker's portrayal of Renfield.
(I swear I heard one of the players call
him Rehnquist once, but let's stick to
one evil at a time.) By turns puckish
and anguished, Parker is the only pres-
ence who was truly a joy to watch.
During his solo numbers, however,
he completely dropped any Britishness
heard in his speaking voice and seemed
to become inexplicably possessed by
one of the Allman brothers.
Unless you're caught up in the
spirit of the season, I can't recom-
mend that you go all the way to Chelsea
and actually pay for a ticket to this
show. It comes off too much like a
melodrama that wants to be a farce,
but can't work up the enthusiasm.
POSSESSED: THE DRA CULA MU-
SICAL is playing through Sunday,
November 22. For information call
475-7902.

Miriam Shor and Daniel Guzman in "Possessed -The Dracula Musical."

A kiss is.
still a kiss
A by Michelle Weger

Since the thoughtful people at
Hallmark came up with yet another
day for which we are forced to buy
overpriced cards and gifts or face the
wrath of those we call our loved ones,
I have graciously come up with a list
of the best kisses on the silver screen,
to get you and your sweetest in the
mood. And since I have no life, you
can betI'llbe spending Saturday night
in front of the home entertainment
center, with about a half-dozen of the
following films:
The 10 best film kisses
1. "Howard's End" - two extremely
uptight Victorians (Helena Bonham
Carter and Sam West) go over the
edge on a rowboat
2. "Impromptu"-George Sand (Judy
Davis) finally wins over her conquest,
Frederic Chopin (Hugh Grant)
3. "El Ley de Deseo " ("Law of De-
sire") - Antonio Banderas learns
about romance inoneof Almod6var' s
best
4. "Casablanca" - they'll always
have Paris
5. "It's A Wonderful Life" - Capra-
esque phone sex
6.-"A Room With A View" -Julian
Sands "insults" Helena Bonham
Carter in Italy and England

e

(#
7

Helena Bonham Carter and Sam West get hot and heavy in a rowboat in "Howards End."

7. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" -
"DammitIndy, where doesn'tithurt?"
8. "Cinema Paradiso" -a good argu-
ment against censorship
9. "Crossing Delancey" - You
schmuck, what are you still doing
here?
10. "On Golden Pond" - Fonda and
Hepburn prove romance never dies.
If, on the other hand, you view
romance as an affliction suffered only
by the most unfortunate, maybe you'll
prefer my list of:

Ten People I'd like to see French-
kissed by Hannibal Lechter
1. George Bush
2. The annoying whiny guy on the
Subway commericals
3. RobertDole, for saying thatSesame
Street is no better than the Smurfs in
an attempt to cut funding for PBS
4. Slimebag Police Chief-turned-ra-
dio-talkshow-host Darryl Gates
5. SindadO'Connor, andI'mnoteven
Catholic
6. Sally Jessy Raphael

7. Mike Meyers, for leaving Saturday%"1 1... ...
Night Live SHOW US THIS AD and GET
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peck on the cheek) 15 different SUBS - 30 different SHAKES
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10. Marilyn Quayle, just because ... 0 0,

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Perrenial stud Julian Sands had his way in " A Room With a View."I

MO

Jonathon B Pub
Presents:
IN NIGHT KARAOKE

FZF

I

Do you write
fiction or poetry?
We want your work for a
special Weekend Etc. issue
devoted to fiction and poetry.

Ancient

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