Dracula Will Surprise, Scare You

Joseph Midyett as Harker, Rufio Lerma as Dracula and Wiiliam McNulty as Van in Fifth Third Bank’s Dracula Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2011 Photo by Alan Simons

Actors Theatre is in its 17th year of producing “Dracula” before Halloween. But I’d never been, and have somehow made it through 51 years without knowing what’s behind the legendary tale. And I don’t really get into all the vampire culture. When I went to the latest adaptation Friday night,  I half-expected a bunch of blood-sucking and horrific stuff straight out of the HBO series True Blood.

What I saw was an amazing performance with great special effects that added up to a spine-tingling experience. I’d only heard about Bram Stoker’s novel, upon which all of the Dracula-ean legends are based. The lead character, the Count, is played by Rufio Lerman, who looks the part and inspires plenty of fear. But the most memorable performance is by Alex Morf, who plays the crazy Renfield, who cavorts all over the set, engaging in fights and escapes.

Oh, there’s some blood, and the suspense of some mysterious deaths. It’s truly frightening.

Performances are ongoing every weekend through Oct. 30. Go here for tickets