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Dracula's Decadent Dinner Party

By Grace Dawson
On November 16, 2018


The iconic windows of Heritage Commons glowed red, setting the mood on the nights of October 31st, November 3rd, and November 4th as dinner guests filed into the hall and took their seats for Dracula’s Decadent Dinner Party. The event was organized by Katherine Pereira and John Rumore and featured a cast of iconic literary figures: Sherlock Holmes, Little Red Riding Hood, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Gretel (of "Hansel and Gretel" fame, of course), Victor Frankenstein, Mina Harker-Murray, Dorian Grey, and Renfield were all brought to life by talented PSU actors and socialized brilliantly with each other and the captivated audience. 

Renfield, played to his full comedic effect by Spencer Bernard-Kriegl, came out before the start of the production, begging for flies and groveling perfectly even without the presence of his master. This set the stage for the dramatic entrance and controlling tone of the night's host, Count Dracula. Dracula himself (Matthew Kadam, who rocked the vampire hairstyle and embodied the undead charm of his character) appeared with a flourish of his cape to welcome his guests and announce the start of the dinner party. 

Soon, more literary characters were welcomed: Mina Murray-Harker (Rebecca Turmel) arrived with a whirl of black skirts and two impressive garlic ornaments to ward off her kidnapper and blackmailer; Little Red Riding Hood the self-proclaimed “professional werewolf hunter” (Sheyenne Lester) came with her cape, a perfect French accent, and a knife collection to rival any other hunter; and Dr. Jekyll (and by default Mr. Hyde, both played by Sam Clifton in a spot-on adaptation) arrived in a fashion that only Dr. Jekyll could. Victor Frankenstein (Kyle Thibault) arrived late and, to the grievance of the rest of the dinner party, without his Creature; Gretel (Samantha Leone) blew in with a giant grin and her signature German cuisine, which turned out to be quite the plot point for the remainder of the evening; and Dorian Gray (Mason Randall) arrived with maximum pomp and class. 

Dinner was served after the first guests arrived, and the dinner party mingled, at Dracula’s request, with the rest of the guests. Dorian handed out portraits (of course) while Little Red stuck dinner loaves in her belt and Mina sternly reprimanded everyone for making their water glasses ring, even going so far as to take away a few of the glasses with a glare. After the mingling, it was back to the main table for the dinner party, where a sinister act took place: someone had put some of Gretel’s garlic dish into Dracula’s soup! 


There was much shouting and quipping, to the audience’s amusement, as the gang tried to figure out who could have done such a thing. Then, at just the right moment, Detective Holmes (Grace Brooks) entered with a sweep of her cape and the signature brisk, clever Holmes air to help solve the case. Along with dessert, the audience was served a command to help look for clues; and finally, with a hand from audience members Holly and Rowan (Alicia Edgar and Alex Birand), the murder of Count Dracula was pinned on Dorian Gray, who couldn’t stand the thought of the Count holding his precious picture hostage. 

The evening was a splendid performance, and it was clear that each actor worked hard to embody their role. Theatre lovers should plan on attending the next event: “Game Night” is a comedy developed by PSU PlayLab and features board games, lovers, and mixed messages and will run from Wednesday, November 14th to Friday, November 16th at 7pm, with an additional performance on Saturday, November 17th at 1pm. 

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