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June 1, 2018:

Dracula’s Taste Test reviewed by Rob Stevens

Count Dracula has awakened in the 21st Century after his coffin was shipped to his last remaining relative in Glendale. He’s trying to adapt and open a bar in Hollywood but dealing with construction permits and delays plus his vow of abstinence from drinking from humans have left him frustrated. So he’s headlining a cabaret act, Dracula’s Taste Test, at this month’s Hollywood Fringe Festival. Dracula (Marz Richards) and his talented musical director AKA The Phantom of the Opera (Ryan Thomas Johnson) hope some of his friends will perform. Dracula’s love, the ghost of Mina Harker (Crystal Keith), joins him in a rousing duet of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” Quasimodo (Carrie Keranen) does a stand-up comedy routine and Frankenstein’s Monster (Bryan Krasner) contributes a Morrissey song. Even the ghoulish Creep (Jeff Sumner) displays his vocal talents on a totally unexpected Elton John classic.

It’s a fun outing with the song lyrics projected on the back wall so the audience can sing-a-long with the creatures. Then Richards’ script goes totally awry with the appearance of the Secret Monster and his Guest who, with Mina’s assistance, perform their short play, a Star Wars parody the Count dubs C3POleanna. Dracula’s cabaret act is really no place for the #MeToo and TimesUp movements. Dracula and his friends are slayers, not sexual harassers, and the show limps to its conclusion. Keep the music and comedy flowing and ditch the social relevance.


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