Rated 4.0

With daylight waning and All Hallow’s Eve looming, it’s a perfect time for a little vampire action. And for that, we can always count on Dracula.

The City Theatre’s stage version of Bram Stocker’s Victorian gothic novel doesn’t travel to Transylvania; instead it transports us only to the English countryside, where fair maidens are dying under mysterious circumstances. For the father and the fiancé of the sickly lass Lucy, it’s time to call in Professor Van Helsing, who doesn’t quite trust a lurking, menacing visitor named Count Dracula.

What makes a good Dracula production is a good Dracula. And for the most part, City Theatre’s Ryan Williams delivers. However, he stumbles a bit in the beginning when his Dracula veers toward caricature with his exaggerated gestures and accent. But when Williams finally sharpens his fangs with foreboding nuances and dangerous eroticism, he adds the much-needed bite.

And adding to the overall spookiness is haunting music, effective sound effects, handsome costumes and sets dripping with blood-red accents.