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October 01, 2008


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I admire your restraint in not making any puns involving sucking or death.

Rob Kozlowski

Can I adapt Blacula?


Is it just a coincidence that y'all ran 15 reviews the same week Creative Loafing filed for bankruptcy?

Mark Jeffries

Considering that three of those five are suburban companies (and two of those three are either community companies or community companies who want to be known as non-Equity professional), asking theater companies not to do "Dracula" around Halloween is about like asking them not to do "Christmas Carol" during the holidays. Dracula's the name that sells the tickets. (And "Curious Hold of the Demeter" seems to be based more on the Nosfertau legend than Stoker and doesn't have the Dracula name in the title.)

Also, it should be pointed out that the First Folio and Elmhurst shows aren't self-developed adaptations (Elmhurst is using Steven Dietz's version and "Passion of Dracula" was a late 70s off-Broadway hit).

Scott Walters

There are, actually, small town values, and they are lived values, not political opinions. They are about helping neighbors, knowing them, and having ongoing relationships with them. In short, it is about community. So the Daily Show is barking up the wrong tree by asking conventioneers, they should have actually (gasp) gone to a small town and asked. Of course, that wouldn't have been nearly as funny. I recommend Patrick Overton's "Rebuilding the front Porch of America" as a great description of how this intersects the arts.

Kerry Reid

I have ongoing relationships with a number of people in my community, too, Scott. We look out for each other and we also have "lived values." My building, for example, includes people who are originally from India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Mexico, Guatemala, Italy, Poland, and from many parts of the United States. (There may even be a Canadian!) Some of them are even gay couples -- and yes, one of those couples told me they moved to Chicago in part because they couldn't live openly as a couple in the small town they used to live in without fear of retribution from their wonderful nurturing small-town values neighbors -- who liked them until they realized they had a pair of godless faggots on their hands, and then started leaving nasty anonymous messages in their mailbox.

We take in each other's mail, watch each other's pets, watch out for each other. When my mother was dying earlier this year, one of my neighbors spent many weekends, as well as the entire week of my mom's passing and her funeral, coming over to feed my cats. She actually spent time playing with them and comforting them, and bought them some new toys because she figured they could use some "cheering up" with me not there. And when I returned from my mom's funeral, she had left a beautiful card signed by other people in the building, expressing sympathy. Another neighbor knows the names of all the pets in our building and always leaves holiday gift bags for them on our doorsteps each Christmas season. Is that a "political opinion?" Or just someone doing something nice for their neighbors?

I know the names of the clerks at my drugstore, grocery store, coffeeshop, and drycleaners, and they know me, at least by face. We talk about the weather, politics, sports, and other things, just like other human beings.

We don't practice "tolerance" in this neighborhood. We simply tend to respect each other -- which is a "value," not a "political opinion," thankyouverymuch. I suspect many other urban dwellers would tell you the same thing about their neighborhoods. But then, that narrative wouldn't fit well with the overarching theme of "Elitist Smug City People Hate and Despise Poor Lil Rural America" that the GOP and its useful idiots have promulgated for years.

Kris Vire

What Kerry said. And coincidentally, Scott, Jon Stewart answered you on last night's show: "Stop pretending that small towns are any different than New York City. You know what New York City is? A bunch of small towns stuck together in one building."

Scott Barsotti

It's funny you bring up all of these various Dracula riffs. Nearly all of them were plugged at WildClaw's Deathscribe last night at the Music Box (except Curious Hold of the Demeter, which Mark pointed out is more a Nosferatu riff than Dracula). Deathscribe was awesome, by the way, coolest thing I've seen in a theatre in a while. Anyone else catch it?

Christina Fleetwood

I am playing Lucy Westenra in the Elmhurst Dracula. I have to admit it was disconcerting to see all the other Draculas coming out at the same time as ours, but not at all surprising.
The Chirstmas Carol analogy is spot on. Typically Suburban Theater companies can't get their audiences to show up for
(sm)art pieces-we have to pick the "name brands".
Although if you have to pick something recognizeable, you can't really go wrong with Stoker.
But that's my throughly biased opinion. You're free to take it with a grain of salt- or a pinch of garlic if you will. :)

chanel flap

What you said is so correct,I support you.Your article is so refreshing,I really like it.Have a goog time!

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  • Kris Vire
    I write about theater for Time Out Chicago. I write more about it here.

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