Published On: Sat, Oct 26th, 2013

Bram Stoker’s classic rocks out at GVT

Count Dracula as portrayed by Scott Sowonski (Photo courtesy of Greenbrier Valley Theatre)

Count Dracula as portrayed by Scott Sowonski (Photo courtesy of Greenbrier Valley Theatre)

Greenbrier Valley Theatre raises the dead and heart rates with ‘Dracula: A Rock Opera’
In time for the Halloween season, Greenbrier Valley Theatre (GVT) presents Dracula: A Rock Opera, by John R. Briggs and Dennis West. Performances will run Oct. 25-26, Nov. 1-2, 7-9 and 14-16, at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a special 10 p.m. Halloween show, Thursday, Oct. 31, a matinee on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. For more information, call the GVT Box Office at 304-645-3838.
Based on the classic 1897 novel by Brain Stoker, Dracula: A Rock Opera retells Stoker’s tale of the world’s most famous vampire via the medium of rock music. With original songs, composed by John R. Briggs and Dennis West, the music feels as if it could fit easily into the landscape of classic rock of the 1970s and ‘80s. The original songs evoke the feel of such bands as Styx, Pink Floyd, or even The Who, capturing a wide range of styles within the rock spectrum, from heavy metal, to power ballads, to glam rock, to reggae. However, despite its rock-inspiration, the music and style of the show are more directly inspired by opera, with complex vocal orchestration, and a plot conveyed primarily through song.
Dracula: A Rock Opera tells the story of Jonathan Harker, an English solicitor who travels to the eastern European country of Transylvania to discuss a real estate transaction with one Count Dracula. Things soon turn terrifying, as Harker learns the Count is a vampire, and finds himself held prisoner in the castle, with his life and honor endangered by the count’s three wives. The Count soon departs for London, where he plans to prey upon the teaming millions. His primary pursuit, though, is Harker’s fiance, Mina Morris, as well as her friend Lucy Westenra. When Lucy begins to waste away due to Dracula’s nightly visits, one of her many suitors calls in a former teacher of his, Abraham Van Helsing, who quickly deduces she is under the influence of a powerful vampire. When Jonathan Harker returns to London with confirmation of the vampire’s identity, the men join forces to try and destroy the Count before he can destroy Mina’s life.
While the story is set primarily in Victorian London, the look of the show, including steampunk-inspired costume designs by GVT’s costumer Jenna Brown, will be unique.
In honor of the show, GVT held a Red Cross blood drive on Oct. 21.
For tickets or more information, call the GVT Box Office at 304-645-3838.