November 25, 2001 |
Every new musical requires a certain level of wow--a degree of stagecraft, scenery and effects, special or otherwise, tailored to the story at hand. Some shows are obliged to provide a bigger wow than others. Think "The Phantom of the Opera"; or rather, don't think, just watch. (Listen, if you must.) A smaller, more impudent diversion such as "The Little Shop of Horrors," to name one of the most widely produced musicals of the last 30 years, doesn't really benefit from a large production.
October 30, 2001 |
High in the Carpathian Mountains, in a castle whose corridors echo with the sound of Frank Wildhorn music, the Count describes himself as someone "not attuned to mirth." The same goes for "Dracula, the Musical," now in its world premiere engagement at the La Jolla Playhouse. The collaborators behind this tastefully flashy enterprise take their vampire myths seriously, as did Bram Stoker, whose 1897 novel inspired a century of sequels and unholy offspring.
October 28, 2001
The creative pairing of Christopher Hampton with Frank Wildhorn on "Dracula, The Musical" brings shudders of bone-chilling horror to my virgin soul ("Old Tale, New Blood," by Jan Breslauer, Oct. 21). What's next--Pia Zadora and Placido Domingo in "Frankenstein: That Seventies Rock Opera"? And who are we as a people when our so-called "cultural creatives" seem to do little else but repackage our overworked classics like so much old wine in plastic bottles? MICHAEL CHASE WALKER Los Angeles
August 22, 2001 |
The descendants of a former Romanian princess are suing the government for the return of an ancient fortress known as "Dracula's Castle"--or $25 million in compensation. Culture Minister Razvan Theodorescu said the state would treat the claim from former Princess Ileana's family "calmly," but he suggested that it was out of line since the state has repaired the 14th century fortress in the Transylvanian town of Bran.
March 13, 2001 |
Zoo District Theater's "Nosferatu" has returned, as vampires do. Recently extended through April 22, it is playing the Evidence Room, one of the nicest new-old performance spaces in Los Angeles. It is a messy but often exhilarating show. Make that plural: Subtitled "Angel of the Final Hour," the show is really six or seven shows, jostling for the same spotlight. All of them, happily, come wrapped in a marvelous musical score--played live, by a band of five--written by Jef Bek.
February 8, 2001 |
When Hannibal Lecter informed FBI agent Clarice Starling he was going to have "an old friend for dinner" at the conclusion of "The Silence of the Lambs," everyone knew it was inevitable that Dr. Lecter would return for another mouthwatering excursion into horror. A decade after the release of the Oscar-winning "Silence of the Lambs," the good doctor is back licking his chops in "Hannibal," which opens Friday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 2001
A colony of cannibalistic ants discovered in Madagascar represents an important piece of the puzzle in understanding the evolution and behavior of one of the most successful insect species in the world, scientists report in today's Nature. The insects, dubbed "Dracula ants" by their discoverers because they suck nourishment from their own larvae, are believed to be a transitional species bridging the gap between ants and the wasps from which they evolved millions of years ago.