Nosferatu Review - The Undead Awakens to Song

 

NOSFERATU blends music and dance to forge an unusual and creative vampire production just in time for Halloween. Based on the iconic silent film by F. W. Murneau and adapted for the stage by director William A. Reilly and choreographer Lisaun Whittingham, NOSFERATU eerily presents the Dracula legend without words - but with stirring symphonic crescendos penned by music giants including Beethoven and Rimsky-Korsakov. In all, the play taps into music from 25 of the world’s greatest pieces, along with exuberant and graceful dancing ranging from folk foot-tappers to ballet. 

 

 

Nosferatu Cast - Photo by DayrlJim Photography

 

The film and play, loosely based on the novel by Bram Stoker, follow the machinations of the evil vampire Count Orlov (Phillip Pruitt) as he journeys from his dilapidated family castle in Transylvania to Wisburg, Germany, and insinuates his way into the lives (and deaths) of Wisburg’s residents: “The shadow engulfs you like a giant nightmares...the evil that cannot be dreamed of in the minds of men.” The year is 1883, and the naive populace is unable to cure this strange malady. When Orlov’s eyes fall upon the epitome of innocence, the real estate agent’s gentle wife Ellen (Alina Bolshakova), he cannot resist her beauty - and her blood. This vampire - unlike many film and stage portrayals as a handsome, irresistible, and doomed man - is as ugly as his deeds; he claws his way into the minds of all those he meets while his quivering fingers point the way.

 

 

Nosferatu - Phillip Pruitt and Michael Marchak - Photo by DayrlJim Photography

 

Costumes and makeup by Tanya Apuya accentuate the look of the stealthy, silent Orlov as he stalks his victims, as well as the tortured faces of the lovely victim’s husband (Michael Marchak) and the other talented inhabitants of this deadly cast. The high points in the original film are projected on an ooverhead screen with printed lines replacing the spoken word. What an enchanting marriage of film and live theater.

 

 

Nosferatu - Michael Marchak - Photo by DayrlJim Photography

 

The creative production crew has outdone itself in bringing this tale to life. NOSFERATU is an original; and, besides, the cast and crew and the audience are having a grand old time. What a perfect way to welcome Halloween!

 

 

Nosferatu - Phillip Pruitt and Alina Bolshakova - Photo by DarylJim Photography

 

NOSFERATU runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. through November 15, 2015, at the Crown City Theatre located at 11031 Camarillo Street, North Hollywood, CA 91602 (on the campus of St. Matthew’s Church). Tickets are $30 (general admission) and $20 (students and seniors). For further information and tickets, call 818-605-5685 or go online at www.crowncitytheatre.com 

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