76f95b3c-2ada-4089-af0f-50bec14d5d20 copyGet ready for a fangtastic adventure as Revolution Youth Theatre sinks its teeth into “The Dracula Spectacula,” a side-splitting musical comedy that puts a modern twist on the classic vampire tale. This family-friendly production will take the stage at the Windsor Centre for Film, Digital Media and the Creative Arts from May 2-5, 2024, promising a night of laughter, thrills, and a few surprises along the way.

“The Dracula Spectacula is an all ages, family friendly show that is being produced by kids ages 7 to 15,” reveals Shana Fathers Thibert, Executive Director at Revolution Youth Theatre. “Fortunately for RYT, Henry L. Dowell, the playwright, wrote a fun and modern spin in it for us.”

 

In this bubbling modern take on the Dracula legend, the infamous Count Dracula leaves Transylvania and heads to New York City to star in his own off-Broadway show. But with a crazed vampire hunter and a bevy of mischievous characters on his trail, will Dracula be able to realize his dream of Broadway stardom, or will he fall victim to the vampire killers?

“In this version you will meet the classic characters like Dracula, Renfield, Igor, Lucy, Mina, John Harker and of course, Van Helsing but Henry L Dowell has brilliantly mixed in some new characters, like Igor’s adorably sweet sister Inga, Van Helsing’s wife Isabella and their brood of vampire killing children, Max the overly theatrical manager of the Carfax Theatre and his long-suffering assistant and a flock (?) of very rude bats,” Thibert explains.

One of the funniest and most creative scenes in the show is “Welcome to New York,” where Dracula, Igor, and Inga are given a tour by Renfield and introduced to all that the Big Apple has to offer, both good and bad.

This scene is a favorite among the cast, who have been working tirelessly to perfect their comedic timing and bring these quirky characters to life.

But it’s not all laughs – the show also promises some jaw-dropping moments and special effects that will have audiences on the edge of their seats. “The RYT kids have choreographed a huge, full cast, final battle between the Van Helsing’s and the creatures of the night!” Thibert exclaims. “They didn’t ‘pull any punches’ in their desire to create a fun to watch, wild and chaotic battle scene.”

The cast features 20 talented youth actors and 4 dedicated crew members who bring this spooktacular show to life. “Ashton Manta (age 11) does a great job at bring a somber Dracula to life in a comedic show and finding a great balance between the 2. Eddie (16) and Lilia Kelly (13) as Igor and Inga are fun to watch, but the Stand out performer in this show is Lily Poynter (age 13). She does not hold back. Her portrayal of Renfield is both heartbreaking and hilarious,” Thibert praises.

The music in “The Dracula Spectacula” is just as diverse and entertaining as the characters. “The Dracula Spectacula is a genre grab bag,” Thibert explains. “There is some spooky (Dracula themed) interlude music, some contemporary songs and also included are some snippets of classic Musical Theatre songs. A gang of werewolves led by their leader Tony are in a turf war with the vampire clan led by the beautiful Maria and engage in a comical ‘dance’ style battle. There is a nod to an infamous Phantom and a dark and twisty version of the Sound of Music classic song All of my Favorite Things.”

The show’s sizzling music and hilarious twist on the Dracula tale are sure to delight audiences of all ages. “I think Windsor audiences will love the fun energy this show exudes,” Thibert says. “It takes a classic horror story, twists it and infuses it with comedy in such fun and creative ways that Audience will have no choice but to leave the theatre with smiles, giggles and skip in their step.”

Behind the scenes, the rehearsal process has been a whirlwind of activity, with the young cast and crew working tirelessly to perfect their performances. “Rehearsals with a large cast of kids is always challenging but the 4 youth assistant directors help wrangle the masses and keep scenes running smoothly,” Thibert shares. “They are also becoming extremely adept at seeing what works in a scene and what doesn’t and finding ways to fix it or tweak it.”

The costumes promise to be just as wild as the characters, with zombies, vampires, and werewolves galore. “I try to design the costumes based on what RYT already owns,” Thibert explains. “I get input from the AD’s and some of the actors but we have a final approval vote with the AD’s since they are young and in touch and I am old and out of date ha-ha.”

af7b6810-8a91-4bd3-a608-a151215ebaba copyWhile the show is packed with laughs, it also has a few nods to Windsor that local audiences will appreciate. “There is a nod to Windsor in the final scene of the show,” Thibert hints.

But perhaps the most impressive aspect of this production is the level of professionalism and dedication shown by the young cast and crew. “The biggest take away I hope the audiences get is that the RYT kids highly capable young professionals who put on quality shows almost entirely on their own,” Thibert emphasizes. “Kids who may not even pick out their own clothes or walk themselves to school are backstage unsupervised by an adult, exhibiting incredible self-discipline while mastering quick changes, timing their own entrances to avoid missing cues, helping cast mates with makeup or costumes and running all their own tech. Our stage Manager Bailey Breedon (age 15) does an excellent job of keeping everything running smoothly. My job stops when the curtain rises and everything on stage and behind the scenes is all them.”

Revolution Youth Theatre’s production of “The Dracula Spectacula” is shaping up to be a must-see event for theatre-goers of all ages. With its talented young cast, hilarious script, and spooktacular special effects, this show promises to be a fangtastic night out for the whole family.

“The Dracula Spectacula” runs from May 2-5, 2024 at the Windsor Centre for Film, Digital Media and the Creative Arts at 664 Victoria Ave. Tickets are available now at the door, online here or can be pre reserved by texting 226-345-9891 – get yours before they vanish into the night!

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