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'Dracula' takes stage at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center tonight

TARPON SPRINGS — Bloodthirsty for some pre-Halloween horror?

Dracula should satisfy.

The three-act play opens tonight and runs this weekend and Oct. 28-30 at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. Admission is $20; $17 for members and students.

A special party lures in opening-night ticket holders with wine and hors d'oeuvres. The event is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. today at SunTrust Bank, 203 E Tarpon Ave.

Adapted from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, writers Hamilton Deane and John Balderston revamped Stoker's hideous monster into more attractive version. The evolved Dracula is skilled in aristocratic manners and fits in quite well with London society, thank you very much.

It's a role that Tom Massey can, pardon the pun, sink his teeth into.

"He's a monster, but a charming monster," said the 21-year-old opera singer, a student at St. Petersburg College.

Massey said he grew up watching classic monster movies on late-night TV with his dad, and he was enthralled with the 1931 Dracula starring Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi.

"Now I'm playing my dream role," he said. "Bela Lugosi paved the way for all the vampire movies and television shows; he was an original."

Jamie Bierchen directs the cast of eight..

The plot unfolds as Count Dracula arrives and moves into Carfax Abbey, an old mansion filled with cobwebs.

Soon unusual things start happening. Dogs start howling for no reason. A young woman dies mysteriously from blood loss.

Another young lady, Lucy Seward (Amanda Welch), starts looking rather pale.

It's untainted, untamed Victorian melodrama and a must for vampire lovers everywhere.

Submit ideas for Diversions features to Terri Bryce Reeves at treeves@tampabay.rr.com Events must take place in north Pinellas.

.If you go

'Dracula,' the stage play

Where: Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St.

When: Tonight through Sunday and Oct. 28-30. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m.

Admission: Tickets are $20; $17 for members and students.

Party: Opening night bash for ticket holders tonight, 6:30-7:30. p.m., at the SunTrust Bank, 203 East Tarpon Ave.

Info: Call (727) 942-5605 or order online at tarponarts.org.

'Dracula' takes stage at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center tonight 10/20/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 20, 2011 4:35pm]
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