SALEM – This weekend is the last chance to see Fort Salem’s run of “Dracula’s Grandmother: A Musical Fable.” The final two performances are Saturday, August 15 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 16 at 2 p.m. at the Fort Salem Theater, located at 11 East Broadway in Salem.
Bram Stoker’s gothic vampire novel, “Dracula,” published in 1897, has fascinated audiences, playwrights, and movie makers alike. Shortly before publication, Stoker himself produced a one-time-and-one-time-only dramatic production of his story at London’s Lyceum Theatre. “Dracula’s Grandmother” takes off from that historical point. Stoker’s boss, Shakespearean actor Henry Irving, the first actor ever to be knighted, asks to play the title role and then starts demanding re-writes of the script. Mrs. Stoker, who hasn’t acted for years, insists on playing the female lead in order to keep the young girls away from her husband. The most celebrated actress of the era, Ellen Terry, not yet cast because the roles are for young women, begs Stoker to create a role for Dracula’s grandmother. The real dramatic debut of “Dracula” was a disaster. With mirth and melody, Jay Kerr presents this year’s world premiere musical as the fabulous explanation as to how such a sure-fire hit was dead on arrival.
“It’s hard to believe we did all this in nine days,” said Johnny Martinez, who plays Bram Stoker in the show. “I’m used to tours and community theatre. The tours rehearse for weeks, the community shows for months. It’s incredible how this came together so fast!”
Fort Salem changes its summer attractions every one or two weeks and is often rehearsing one show on the same day another one is playing.
“The trick is to find talented performers who can roll with the punches and thrive in a hectic environment. Everyone in the Dracula cast is magnificent; they work well with one another and deliver during performances,” said Jay Kerr, Fort Salem’s artistic director.
For tickets or more information, visit the theater online at fortsalemtheater.com or call the theater box office: (518) 854-9200.