Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 9, 1993 · Page 44
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 44

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, July 9, 1993
Page:
Page 44
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STAGE Scaring up a toothy classic Carnegie native comes up with 'Dracula: A Musical THEATRE AT HARTW00D PRESENTS ! TWO HILARIOUS HITS FOR - THE PRICE OF ONE ! A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO THAT MAGICAL ERA-1930'S HOLLYWOOD! A NIGHT IN THE UKRAINE THE FUNNIEST MUSICAL THE MARX BROTHERS NEVER WROTE! JUNE 22-JULY 17 call 767-4738 r DIRECTIONS: Access liom 1-376 (Parkway East) Exit 8 Squirrel HilV Hwneaeadl and follow the signs to Homestead Cross High Level Bridge an) turn ngrit on Route 837 ant) fofcw trie tf lie signs to Sandcastle. ' , J . . V i' i' F r 3 HOT TUBS on W" "" I S OO HARTS i v V U By Adrian McCoy Theater history teaches us that you can write a musical around just about anything: former presidents and mayors, Amy Fisher, disfigured phantoms of the opera. Why not Dracula? Although the concept might provoke smiles at first, composer and lyricist Paul Michael Brown claims "Dracula: A Musical" is a serious reading of the Transylva-nian legend. "This is not a spoof and it's not a comedy, although there are light moments thrown in," Brown says. "Dracula" premieres tonight at McKcesport Little Theater. It's a first for the theater company as well: Although it's done locally created musical revues in the past, Brown's show is the first full-fledged original production there. Brown based the musical roughly on Bram Stoker's 19th-century novel. "I liked the concept of the vampire story. I liked the atmosphere of the novel, but I thought .';: ft i. v it was lacking in plot. All the women were one-dimensional charaC' ters." He fleshed out and developed the characters more. Mina (played by Sara Jane Fleming) is torn between two men her fiance, the steady, supportive Jonathan (Thomas Rihn) and the mysterious Dracula (Larry Newman). Brown moved the setting forward in time from the Victorian era to 1927 upper-class London, in order to get rid of cliches associat-edwith the famed vampire tale. "People expect to have women running around in long gowns, and him in a long cape things that they've seen in every Dracula movie before. There are no wooden stakes, no garlic, nothing like that in this production. It's really a character drama." A piano player who plays regularly at places like One Oxford Centre and the Oakland restaurant More', Brown's repertoire includes plenty of Broadway tunes. Dramatic musicals like "lies Mis-erables" and "Grand Hotel" were part of what inspired him to write his own. The Carnegie resident has been writing songs for years, and wanted more than the traditional love ballad to sink his teeth into. Musical theater offered the perfect springboard. "If I put myself in a fiction- NEW SINGLES DANCES Tonight? pm-1 am Line Dance Lessons 8-9 pm Holiday Inn. McKnight Road highlandwsingles SInglM aanctt-tno lun. For more information call 644-21 00 fa taped message. The Best of the Shore, fi Right Next Door, jtpg Paul Michael Brown al situation, 1 can be a lot of different characters. I turned to Broadway and this style of music for a chance to do more adventurous things." Working on the "Dracula" score off and on for four years, Brown focused on atmospheric music and, in keeping with the dark, moody fable, included imaginative use of harpsichord in 3 LINES 7 DAYS $15.00 CLASSIFIED AD FOR ITEMS UNDER $1500 CALL FOR DETAILS 263-1201 tjy.v-!i I; ,.- "There are no wooden stakes, no garlic, nothing like that in this production." Paul Michael Brown the orchestrations. Although the production could be done on a larger scale, Brown says it's been tailored for a smaller space. "Now we have an intimacy that you couldn't have in a big thc-'ater." The McKeesport production will be filmed, giving Brown an example of the live performance to shop around to potential producers elsewhere. "I wanted to see what works and what doesn't." Several agents and college theater departments are interested in it. The production has been a challenge. Director Scott Calhoon had to work from scratch, with no prior productions' blocking to analyze and rework. "It's a little chaotic. We change our minds every night," Brown says. Brown intends to write more musicals and is at work on some melodies for a second show. But, he adds, "Son of Dracula" or any other endeavor is some distance down the road. " 'Dracula' has consumed my whole life for the past six or seven months." 'DRACULA: A MUSICAL' It premieres tonight at McKeesport Little Theater and runs through July 25. Performances are Fridays through Sundays at 8 p.m., with benefit performances for The Cancer Support Network on July 14 and the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force on July 21. Call 673-1100. MONONGAHELA RIVE ' "1 I Weekend, July 9, 1993

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