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Published: Friday, 10/24/2003

Audiences to get trick, treat at Rep

BY NANCIANN CHERRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Toledo Repertoire Theatre believes it has come up with a treat for the Halloween season - or maybe it's a trick.

The local theater tonight is opening its presentation of The Passion of Dracula, based on the Bram Stoker novel.

The trick is that the play is a spoof, according to the Rep's artistic director, Gloria Mouloupolis. Director Jennifer Rockwood agrees, describing the show as a melodrama that presents Stoker's work with a tongue-in-cheek attitude.

The principals are Eric Hillenbrand as Count Dracula, the vampire; Stephen Berwind as Dr. Van Helsing, who runs an asylum, and Audra Patrice McCabe as Wilhelmina, whom Dracula wants for his bride.

Berwind is on the faculty of the department of theater and film at the University of Toledo, where Rockwood also teaches. “It's very exciting for me to be directing a colleague,” Rockwood said. “And it's great for the students to see one of the professors strut his stuff.”

Although the show is a lot of fun, Mouloupolis doesn't believe it's geared to young children. “I'd rate it about a PG,” she said.

On opening night, the Rep is holding a costume contest and serving refreshments. The audience is invited to dress as Count Dracula or Wilhelmina.

“The Passion of Dracula” opens tonight at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, 16 10th St., and runs through Nov. 15. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $16, with a $2 discount for seniors. Information: 419-243-9277.

While The Passion of Dracula isn't geared to young children, The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe is. The musical will be presented tomorrow by TheaterWorks USA at the Ritz Theatre in Tiffin.

The tale is based on C.S. Lewis' classic adventure about four children in England during World War II. Shuffled off to the country to be safe from the bombing of London, the children find a strange wardrobe in an even stranger room. Playing in the wardrobe, they accidentally enter the land of Narnia, which is ruled by the evil White Witch, who makes winter last the year around. The children fight the witch's spell, returning the great lion king Aslan to his throne, and with him come peace and sunshine.

TheaterWorks will be in the Ritz Theatre, 30 South Washington St., Tiffin for one performance, at 2 p.m. tomorrow. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students. Information: 419-448-8544, extension 2.



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