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In Tandem’s Halloween Fun with ‘Dracula vs. the Nazis’

Oct. 11, 2016
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Photo by Tanya Dhein

Dracula and October naturally go together, which makes for a timely appearance in In Tandem’s production of Dracula vs. the Nazis by local playwright Michael Neville.

The script is as goofy as the play’s title, which pits Dracula (now a good guy) against the Nazis. Both sides are striving for world domination, but there’s little suspense in terms of who will win this strange war.

Neville’s script has some clever lines, but unfortunately they are few and far between. Under Jane Flieller’s direction, artistic director and co-founder Chris Flieller and Doug Jarecki successfully switch in and out of costumes to play about 20 characters. It is difficult to pick “favorite” characters, but contenders would include Jarecki as Eva Braun (wearing a plus-sized dirndl that displays a hefty bosom) and Flieller as either Hitler or Dracula’s fly-eating henchman, Renfield.

Flieller, a comic veteran who keeps the silliness in check, is dressed like an escapee from the film Young Frankenstein. Jarecki is no slouch, either. As Eva Braun, she complains about her sex life with Hitler and displays a strange affection for a pet fish. She tells some of the racier jokes in German. This is not a show for very young children. The plot travels the world, from Venezuela to Brooklyn and, of course, Hitler’s bunker. Scene changes serve to mark the different venues on this blank canvas-style set.

There’s no sense going into plot details, as things get rather confusing and pointless (especially during the second act). Even at 90 minutes, the play will seem too long for some. But tickets will be snapped up nonetheless. The sold-out house on opening night suggests that this crowd-pleaser will be part of many theatergoer’s pre-Halloween plans. 

Through Oct. 30 at the Tenth Street Theatre. For tickets, visit intandemtheatre.org or call 414-271-1371.


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