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!



41 comments:

  1. Oh Emma, I love everything in this post!
    Gorey and Vampires... the perfect combination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww... Thank you, Yvonne! ❤ I am besotted with Gorey, and with vampires, so I'm positively giddy when the two are combined. :D

      Happy Vampire's Day! ❤

      Delete
  2. *Me thinks I need to redecorate Hortense's apartment* Loving everything about this post :D XXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gina! ❤ Winter Moon and I were chatting recently about how fabulous it would be to have a house with murals painted like Gorey's 'Dracula' sets. Just thinking about it makes my wee dark heart go pitter-pat! :D

      Delete
  3. Great post, Emma! Very interesting stuff!

    Raul Julia played Dracula at some point? Wow, that sounds awesome! It's a shame we didn't get a movie adaptation starring him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Chris! :) Yeah, I'd imagine that Frank and Raul would be very different Draculas. I wonder if there's any footage on YouTube of Raul Julia in the Broadway 'Dracula'? I must check that out.

      Delete
  4. Great post, I love this artwork too. And I really want the theatre book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The theatre book is great, Jo, and luckily it's still easy to get hold of on Amazon and other sites. Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' illustrated by Edward Gorey was a little more challenging, but I managed to find a good second hand copy. :)

      Delete
  5. Perfection overdose - AND Jeremy Brett in a cloak:-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been thinking about doing this post for a while, Variations On Light, and the Vampire's Day Soiree gave me the perfect prompt. :D

      Delete
  6. That Gorey art is superb! Thank you for sharing it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fascinating! Gorey is just one of those artists whose personal style is absolutely unique and instantly recognizable. I love him too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm not sure I ever saw the Langella version of Dracula ... I must see if I can hunt down a copy. And two more books I feel I need, even though there's ten (roughly) boxes downstairs I can't find a place for! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I know just what you mean about books, Insomniac's Attic! I haven't a smidgeon more room for them... but I just can't resist getting more!

      Delete
  9. Wow! There's so much detail and information here! It's been a true learning experience. I don't think I've ever seen the Langella version, but I've spotted it at our local public library. I assumed that it would be more or less a re-telling of Bram Stoker's novel; but since it varies with the original, I might just have to watch it some dark and stormy night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Langella 'Dracula' is just so darkly lush and gorgeous, Nightwind! It has some great actors in it too. I'd definitely recommend giving it a watch on some dark and stormy night! :D

      Delete
  10. I LOVE Edward Gorey! Thank you for sharing such wonderful images on this very special Soiree day! (I secretly love typing the word soiree so I keep using it over and over)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nicole! And I love the word "soiree" too! :D

      Delete
  11. Cool. I actually made my Edward Gorey Toy Theatre into three shadow boxes and have them hanging on the wall so I can look at them every day :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea about turning the theatre into permanent shadow boxes, Goth Gardener! Have you ever posted photos of them on your blog? I'd love to see what you did if you have!

      Delete
  12. The 70's sparked lasting genius ! I druell over the pop-up Theater, ! Thank you for sharing perfection!
    Love your banners, buttons and Images, you are a visual master indeed! xoDebi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Debi! ❤ xo I have a soft spot for horror from the seventies. They really seem to have understood how to create atmosphere back then.

      Delete
  13. Fabulous post, I love the sheer beauty of the imagery and so much fascinating information, thanks for sharing. The images are pure magic, I love the little pop up theater. Happy Vampire Day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jane! :) Yes, I agree! Even though the theme is macabre, I think Gorey's black and white imagery is magical too. I've had a few people who've seen the play comment on my FB page and Pinterest, and they say the sets were absolutely stunning in real life.

      Happy Vampire's Day to you too! ❤

      Delete
  14. Every time you have a post with anything Gorey in it, I end up buying something. I believe you do it on purpose, don't you? Well, I'm glad. 'Cause this is just yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha. Does that make me a Gorey enabler? I'm just plain bad to the bone, Magaly! ;D ♥

      Delete
  15. Thank you for the post. Almost forgot about the guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure, Gatekeeper! Thanks for stopping by for the soiree! :)

      Delete
  16. It's so fitting that Raul Julia was Edward Gorey's Dracula, since both Gorey and The Addams Family make me think of you! LOVE that Toy Theatre too!
    Thanks so much for attending the Soiree! Hope you had a happy Vampire's Day! ^♥^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww... Saying that Gorey and 'The Addams Family' make you think of me is the best compliment EVER, Holly! :D ^♥^

      Delete
  17. What a wonderful posting for Vampire Soiree. I truly enjoyed learning some new things about Vampires. Thanks so much, Oma Linda http://yeoldecronesgazette.blogspot.com/2015/02/vampire-soiree-2015wheres-your-vania.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Oma Linda! :) I've been thinking about a Gorey/Dracula post for a while, so the Vampire's Day Soiree was the perfect opportunity.

      Delete
  18. Ahhh I'd love to get hold of those sets! I need to read some more Gorey, methinks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reading Gorey is always an excellent idea, Laura! :D

      Delete
  19. Cool Emma - love your little Gorey theater!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lady M! :) Yes, the Gorey theatre is the dollhouse that I wish I'd had as a kid! ;D

      Delete
  20. bram stoker created my very fav. version <3 will def have to take a look at the theatre stuff you posted!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've missed out on so much in the blog world, like this wonderful soiree. Strange to see Sherlock Holmes as Dracula! And Frank Langella as anything else but an creepy old man :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh, OH, loved this post (and the accompanying artwork) and reminded me of when I was still at school and went with a few of our nerd herd to see 'John Waters' play the Count, I think it was Capital Theatre in Sydney, everyone was swooning.
    Sorry I missed this soirée too, great to find your awesome post now :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting!