Martin Beck Theatre, (10/20/1977 - 1/06/1980)

First Preview: Oct 13, 1977
Opening Date: Oct 20, 1977
Closing Date: Jan 06, 1980
Total Previews: 5
Total Performances: 925

Category: Play, Drama, Revival, Broadway
Description: A play in three acts
Setting: Purley, England. The 1920s.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Jujamcyn Theaters (under the direction of Richard G. Wolff, President)

Produced by Jujamcyn Theaters (under the direction of Richard G. Wolff, President), Elizabeth Ireland McCann, John Wulp, Victor Lurie, Nelle Nugent and Max Weitzenhoffer

Originally Conceived and Produced for the Nantucket Stage Company by John Wulp

Dramatized by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston; Based on the world famous novel "Dracula" by Bram Stoker

Directed by Dennis Rosa

Scenic Design by Edward Gorey; Costume Design by Edward Gorey; Lighting Design by Roger Morgan; Sound Consultant: Erskine-Shapiro, Theatre Technology, Inc.; Men's Hair Styles by Tommy DeMaio; Make-up Consultant: Robert O'Bradovich

Company Manager: Susan Gustafson; Management Assistant: Veronica Claypool and Victoria Heslin

Production Supervisor: Ben Janney; Production Stage Manager: Charles Kindl; Stage Manager: Bill Dodds; Assistant Stage Mgr: Tandy Cronyn

Production Propertyman: Barry-Robert Molitch; Bat Handler: Kim Herbert; Special Effects by Chic Silber; Additional Effects by Peter Kunz

Scenery Supervised by Lynn Pecktal; Costumes Supervised by John David Ridge; General Press Representative: Solters & Roskin, Inc.; Casting: Terry Fay; Advertising: The Blaine Thompson Company; Photographer: Martha Swope; Playbill Cover illustration by Edward Gorey

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Opening Night Cast

Frank LangellaCount Dracula
Alan CoatesJonathan Harker
Jerome DempseyAbraham Van Helsing
Dillon EvansDr. Seward
Baxter HarrisButterworth
Richard KavanaughR. M. Renfield
Gretchen OehlerMiss Wells
a maid
Ann SachsLucy Seward

Understudies: Louis Beachner (Abraham Van Helsing, Butterworth, Dr. Seward, R. M. Renfield), Baxter Harris (Count Dracula), Charles Kindl (Abraham Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, R. M. Renfield) and Malcolm Stewart (Butterworth, Jonathan Harker)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 1978 Best Actor in Play [nominee] 

Frank Langella

 1978 Best Scenic Design [nominee] 

Edward Gorey

winner 1978 Best Costume Design [winner] 

Edward Gorey

 1978 Best Direction of a Play [nominee] 

Dennis Rosa

winner 1978 Most Innovative Production of a Revival [winner] 

Produced by Jujamcyn Theaters (under the direction of Richard G. Wolff, President), Elizabeth Ireland McCann, John Wulp, Victor Lurie, Nelle Nugent and Max Weitzenhoffer

Drama Desk Award

 1978 Outstanding Actor in a Play [nominee] 

Frank Langella

 1978 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play [nominee] 

Jerome Dempsey

 1978 Outstanding Costume Design [nominee] 

Edward Gorey

 1978 Outstanding Lighting Design [nominee] 

Roger Morgan

 1978 Outstanding Set Design [nominee] 

Edward Gorey


New York Daily News: "Langella is Count Dracula down to the teeth"

If we must have "Dracula" again, a need I was not aware of until this season's sudden preoccupation with the evil but undeniable dashing "undead" count, then by all means let's have it in the grand operatic manner employed last night at the Beck. And above all, with a tall, lean, majestic and handsomely unwholesome Frank Langella battling his way about the premises as the king of the vampires.

It's a rotten play, really, this British work that an actor named Hamilton Deane drew 30 years later, in 1927, from Bram Stoker's late 19th-century novel and that was revised for its Broadway premiere later that same year by John Balderston, best known for "Berkeley Square" and the film treatment of "Gone With the Wind." It had a fair run that winter and then, as you know, brought Hollywood Bela Lugosi.

Its principal virtue is the dispatch with which it goes about its business. Even so, and even with the current craze for the silly, the freakish, the campy and the horrendous, "Dracula" is a bit of a drag. But the production is so overwhelming and skillfully put together in every respect that you may find, as last night's audience surely did, sufficient thrills and laughs along the way to make it a worthwhile affair even though it palled on this observer.

It is all, or almost all, in grays and blacks, both the costumes and the towering, vaulted basic setting designed by Edward Gorey. And the sheer size of the set - which shifts us around from Dr. Seward's sanitorium library to the victimized heroine's boudoir and finally to the crypt where Dracula rests in his last coffin - along with the symphonic strains that come thundering from the loudspeakers is indeed impressive. A slight updating, by the way, has "Dream Lover" issuing from one of those classic, arched Philco radio sets of the '30s.

Langella is superb. Face pale, eyes wide and hair swept back from an ignoble brow, he tingles with authority whether sweeping his voluminous velvet cape with its rusted-blood lining about him before turning into a darting, swooping bat, or baring his chest as he leans over the bewitched Lucy on her fourposter so that she may taste of his 500-year-old blood. This tall, slender figure who casts no shadow nor reflection in a mirror has merely to say "Gentlemen" to stop the others in their tracks.

Those others, all excellently directed in broad melodramatic style by Dennis Rosa, include a lithe and properly toothy marceled blonde named Ann Sachs as Lucy, a burly and heavy-voiced Jerome Dempsey as the Dutch pathologist Van Helsing, who wards off evil with a garland of wolfsbane and a holy wafer, Dillon Evans as the skeptical Seward and Gretchen Oehler as Lucy's hypnotized maid.

Richard Kavanaugh, his dark and sleepless eyes popping from beneath a shock of startled hair, is nimble and amusing as the rather endearing and ever-escaping lunatic Renfield, Dracula's unwilling and uncertain slave. Baxter Harris as the Cockney butler and Alan Coates as Lucy's upstanding fiance round out a first-rate cast.

For what it is, and that's not really much, this "Dracula" is a triumph of production, and especially of Langella, over matter.

New York Daily News

Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Martin Beck Theatre

(10/20/1977 - 1/6/1980)


David Dukes
Count Dracula (May 1, 1979 - ?)
Raul Julia
Count Dracula (Oct 3, 1978 - ?)
Count Dracula (May 15, 1979 - ?)
Jean LeClerc
Count Dracula (Jun 19, 1979 - ?)
Richard S. Levine
R. M. Renfield
Valerie Mahaffey
Lucy Seward
Everett McGill
Lauren Thompson
Lucy Seward
Sam Tsoutsouvas
R. M. Renfield
Peter Walker
Abraham Van Helsing

Standbys: Lloyd Battista (Count Dracula), Stephen Scott (Abraham Van Helsing).

Understudies: Betsy Beard (Lucy Seward, Miss Wells), Jack Betts (Dr. Seward), Dalton Cathey (Butterworth, Jonathan Harker), Alan Coates (Count Dracula), Johanna Leister (Lucy Seward, Miss Wells).

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