A Canadian stage musical – book by Bruno Pelletier and Richard Ouzounian, songs by Simon Leclerc and Roger Tabra – which was preserved for video release in a version that’s a little jazzier than cam-cordered from the back of the stalls (we get some close-ups of the cast singing their lungs out) but not that much. Direction is credited to Gregory Hlady, whom I assume did the original staging. It opens with a puppet narrator who looks a little like a traditional Dracula (or maybe Peter Cushing as Van Helsing) taking us back to an origin story for Wallachian warlord Vlad (Pelletier) who is bitten by a pretty vampire (Andrée Watters) and transforms – though the girl is hunted down and killed by monks. Then, in the early 21st century – to judge from all the references to the likes of Kennedy, Castro, Pinochet, Stalin, etc. in lyrics – Dracula has Jonathan Harker (Sylvain Cossette) visit his castle, where he has a punkish Renfield (Daniel Bouchet) in residence as whipping boy/minion and the traditional chorus of vampire brides.
Act One has Dracula, who looks a bit like Michael Shannon as Zod and wears an unflattering zip-up-the-front brown onesie with stuffed codpiece, going after Lucy (Gabrielle Destroismaisons), who gets staked by Van Helsing (Pierre Flynn). Act Two is an extended dance/seduction/affair with Mina (Watters again) which ends with Van Helsing knocked down and a macho Jonathan-Dracula face-off as they shove their chests at each other with a sharp-at-both-ends pole between them. When it looks like Dracula has won, Mina changes her mind and is upset about what’s going on with Jonathan – and yet more nondescript stadium rock belters are blasted out. It’s very busy, with a versatile set and lighting tricks, but short of romance and terror – competing with about a dozen other Dracula musicals and numberless ballet prodictions, it doesn’t make that much of an impression. I watched it this morning and couldn’t hum any of the tunes this afternoon, though I have a sense of the sort of noise it makes.