Sunday, September 23, 2012

Showtimers' 'Dracula' Is Both More and Less

The Showtimers' production of the Hamilton Dean/John Balderson theater rendering of "Dracula" is like so many community theater efforts in that it is both more and less than you'd expect.

This one features some fine performances--especially Kevin McAlexander's Renfield, Spencer Meredith's Butterworth and Caitlin Coleman's Lucy--and one that is simply miscast (Stephen Baltz as Jonathan Harker). Kris Laguzza's direction is generally spot-on, though there are moments here and there when the audience didn't quite know whether she was going for a laugh or a fright and what you got was nervous laughter.

Even the costuming and makeup were uneven. It was generally pretty good until we got to Chris Reidy's Dracula, dressed in what appeared to be a Naval overcoat from the wardrobe of another play (which I suspect it was) and white makeup on his face applied so unevenly that it looked like he'd fallen into the flour vault.

Remember, though, that this is community theater, not professional theater and what you get is the amateur--and often far more charming--version of these works. Accept it for what it is and you'll get a fine evening's entertainment out of it for a low price ($12 and $5 for kids and you can safely take the kids; not much here will frighten them).

The play runs through Sept. 30 at the Showtimers' studio in Southwest Roanoke County.

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