Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Vampire's Day Soiree 2015

Welcome to my shadowy little corner of the most spooktacular, sanguinary soiree of the season, hosted by the fangtastic Holly of Holly's Horrorland. Here is my contribution to the night's festivities:

Edward Gorey's  Dracula
I love the art of Edward Gorey and I'm particularly partial to the works he created based on Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Edward Gorey designed the costumes and sets for the Broadway production of Dracula, which opened on October 20, 1977, at the Martin Beck Theatre, and ran until January 6, 1980. The stunning sets recreated Gorey's  trademark black and white cross-hatched illustrative style with just the occasional touch of red. *swoon*

The play itself was a revival of the 1927 Broadway version of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi. At the 1978 Tony Awards, Edward Gorey won for Best Costume Design and was nominated for Best Scenic Design. The play also won a Tony Award for Most Innovative Production of a Revival.

Frank Langella (above) was the first actor to play Count Dracula in this production. 

Then Raul Julia (above) took on the role. Raul Julia, of course, was the actor who went on to play Gomez Addams in the movies The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993).

English actor Jeremy Brett (above), who is probably best know for playing Sherlock Holmes in a Granada television series, starred in the touring production of the play (1978 -1979).

Frank Langella went on to star as the Count again in the 1979 film version of the play, directed by John Badham. The film also starred Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasance, and Kate Nelligan.

Apparently John Badham had originally intended to shoot the film in black and white, referencing both the 1931 film of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, and Edward Gorey's stage design, but Universal disapproved. The director chose to desaturate the colour in later video and DVD releases of the film, making them differ from the initial theatrical release.

If you have never seen the Langella movie, it's definitely worth a look. The story deviates from Bram Stoker's novel, but the film is just so visually exquisite. The cinematography, and Edwardian sets and costumes are gorgeous.

About a year ago, I tracked down a copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula (above right) designed and illustrated by Edward Gorey. I also have a copy of In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires (above left) with Edward Gorey cover art.

I've made up a montage (above) of the character artwork in the Gorey illustrated edition of Dracula.

Edward Gorey's Dracula - A Toy Theatre (above), which is a squeal-worthy paper miniature of the actual sets and costumes for the Broadway production, is another treasure in my personal Gorey collection.

Thank you for joining me here and please do fly on over to Holly's Horrorland to mingle with the other soiree guests. You'll have a bloody good time!