Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Communist Dracula Pageant




defunkt theatre
January 11 - February 16, 2008

Review by peanutduck

Absurd, sardonic, black comedy with on-target comic timing, tightly choreographed ensemble scenes, delightful indulgence in fanged Dracula, and, as promised, employs bad accents and teddy bear moment. Energy lost during character-driven courtroom drama; intentions behind tableaus unclear. Spare set design, smart lighting make Back Door seem spacious. Enjoy the fangs.

8 comments:

syria said...

Very entertaining and involving performance. Agree that courtroom scenes lacked a certain tension. Small, close staging meant everyone involved in the trial had to bring themselves down and find smaller, more intimate moments. Ceascu seemed to be hitting the same chronological moment. I think part of his arc should have been his shifting sense of power. The script was centered around Ceascu, but the play was centered around the ensemble.

Anonymous said...

The script is highly problematic and did not seem helpful to the actors in creating multiple characters. Except for a few brief moments, the performances, down to details of gesture, are largely without strong characterization, relationship or consequence. The staging is similarly without consequence or relationship, making it appear more haphazard and indifferent than considered. The few absurdist moments are not really earned energetically in the arc of the piece. i wanted to leave. the dracula song was the only entertaining aspect for me.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with the comment that the performances "are largely without strong characterization, relationship or consequence". The show I saw had very strong characterizations and a clear establishment of relationships.

Anonymous said...

weird but very educational. makes me want to know more about the story of the romania revolution.

Anonymous said...

Good show but I didn't understand everything going on. I guess it would help to know about romania. Dracula guy was weird and creepy.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I think the bear was the best part. Worth the price of admission alone.

I really loved this show, and I usually hate defunkt's stuff. Not that I hate the company - I just usually don't like the sort of material they pick. But this play was excellent. So if you're staying away because defunkt usually confuses you, or annoys you, or you just don't like theatre that doesn't make any damn sense, you can safely go and enjoy this one.

And the bear.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was one of the best shows I've seen at defunkt. The dracula guy was great.

Anonymous said...

Loved the show. Dracula was great. It was funny and also very thought-provoking. Also, for the first time ever, defunkt's lack of curtain call didn't come across as pretentious to me.