Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween from Goreyana ~ Dracula on Broadway

Edward Gorey 

These three things go together like bats against a full moon! I recently became aware of a stash of theatrical photographs from the 1977 Broadway production of Dracula in the digital archives at the New York Public Library, Billy Rose Theater Division. This extensive archive of images shows the sets, actors and production in a multitude of images that is sure to delight any fan of Edward Gorey. Access to the archive can be found HERE.

The Martha Swope photos of the original cast give a very real sense of the "Goreyesque" quality of the production. The color photographs in the collection show how Edward Gorey's sets and costumes blended together to create and atmosphere of menace. One of my favorite images shows Frank Langella as the evil Count Dracula lying in his coffin.

This photograph shows Renfield (Richard Kavanaugh), Dr. Seward (Dillon Evans), and Van Helsing (Jack Dempsey). Renfield's costume and make-up is a particular delight. With a visage straight out of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Renfield is perfectly attired in muted striped pajamas with bat clasps that identify his enslavement to the Count. 

This archive is a fantastic resource for theatrical studies. The Dracula images were digitized and added to the online archive in 2013. All images are copyright: The New York Public Library.

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