I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I don't like to go out of my comfort zone. Whether that's in life, at work or with theater. In this case, I was ready to jump outside of it and see something I wasn't used to seeing or reviewing and it paid off. I saw Dracula at the Ritz Theater. It was performed by COLLIDE, a performing arts company that focuses primarily on dance. According to their website, they are rooted in classical musical theater jazz dance and are inspired by the influence of Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse (who doesn't like Bob Fosse!?).
Many of you know the story of Dracula and this story follows the same idea but in modern time. The story takes place in New York City. After Dracula catches a glimpse of Mina Murray, he obsesses over her in hopes to make her fall in love with him. The story is unique because this production was done through song and dance. There were no scenes with dialogue however the music pushed the plot along. The songs were also modern songs that you knew including "Heads Will Roll," "Bad Girls," "Somebody to Love," and "Every Breath You Take" which was by far the highlight of the production.
The set and lighting were pretty spooky upon walking in. It definitely had "Halloween/Warehouse" vibes and I was living for it. A small band consisting of a keyboard, bass, drums, trumpet, and a guitar. The band was lead by the impressively talented Katie Gearly who sang a large majority of the songs. At times, the cast would sing along including a few solos by Michael Hanna, who played Dracula. When he sing "Every Breath You Take" I legitimately had goosebumps. His cover of the iconic song was absolutely amazing. His deep rich tone and longing looks towards his love were one of the best parts of the production.
As an ensemble they were all completely in sync with each other. You can really tell as an ensemble that they worked hard and have bonded. They are completely and always in check with each other even in some of the less choreographed scenes. The variety of styles of dancing kept the production high energy and interesting. It kept my complete and undivided attention through the entire production.
Overall, COLLIDE offered an unexpected and amazing evening. I absolutely loved taking a risk and seeing a completely new form of performance that I often wouldn't get a chance to see. COLLIDE clearly knows what they are doing and I can't wait to see many more productions from them.
Visit their facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/collide.theatrical/