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!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Creative Coupling and Bleeding Hearts Day Challenge

Delightful Debi of Easel & Quill blog set a Creative Coupling and Bleeding Hearts Day Challenge for the residents of Blogland. I think what she actually wanted was for us to dream up an interesting, original pairing, but... ahem...  you know I just had to pick Morticia and Gomez, right?! They are the ultimate romantic coupling for me!

John Astin and Carolyn Jones (above) played Gomez and Mortica in The Addams Family television series (1964 - 1966).

 Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston (below) played Gomez and Morticia in the movies, The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993).

And below we have Gomez and Morticia as they were depicted in cartoon form by their creator, the great Charles "Chas" Addams.

The perfect couple! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Vampire's Day Soiree and Other Upcoming Bloggy Affairs

Blood and Crumpets by Austin Hillebrecht
Oh my!  It's February! Where did January disappear to in such a hurry?! Blogland is abuzz with preparations for blog parties, a sure sign that the new year is well underway, but before I get to that, I need to thank some delightful and generous Blogland friends.

First up is Yvonne from Winter Moon blog. Way back during the Yuletide festivities she sent me this gorgeous little ornate mirror. And isn't the card just lovely?!

She also sent me a print of Jessie Larson's cover artwork for The Outsmarting of Criminals by Steven Rigolosi. Yvonne and I are both admirers of Jessie Larson's art and she knew how much I would love it! Thank you so much, Yvonne!

Those of you already acquainted with Yvonne know full well what an utter sweetie she is, but if you haven't had the pleasure of meeting her yet, do pop over to Winter Moon for a visit.

Another Blogland sweetheart is Debi from Easel & Quill. Debi is actually hosting one of the aforementioned blog parties (more on that below), but I also need to thank her for this beautiful art card she organized to have sent to me from Suziqu, an Australian crafter. Thank you, Debi!

I also recently received a lovely package of goodies from the adorable Bec of Gothic Flamingo, but I'll be sharing more of that with you in an upcoming post... once I've had a chance to take some photos.

And now, to the blog parties...

If you've got a blog but have never participated in a blog hop/fest/party/challenge, I encourage you to give it a whirl. They are brilliant as creative prompts and you meet fantastic people mingling at these virtual gatherings. Some of my favourite Blogland buddies were discovered during blog parties.

The Vampire's Day Soiree (February 14) is hosted by Holly of Holly's Horrorland. This will be the fourth year for this annual event and it's bloody good fun! Click on the link to sign-up or to get more information.

The Creative Coupling & Bleeding Hearts Day Challenge is hosted by Debi from Easel & Quill. For this challenge you can post any time up until February 16. Click on the link to sign-up or to get more information.

The Shadow of Oz (April 11) is hosted by Oma Linda from Olde Baggs N Stuffed Shirts. Shadow of Oz is the theme of this year's annual Celebrate 0z blog party. Once again, just click on the link to sign-up or to get more information.

By the way, the artwork for Shadow of Oz is by another wonderful bloggy pal, Shelle Kennedy of Sunshine Shelle.

If you aren't able to sign-up to participate in a blog party, you are still very welcome to come along and just enjoy the posts. Hope to see you there! :)