Wednesday, 14 September 2016 03:05

Nosferatu, A Symphony in Terror

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Nosferatu, A Symphony in Terror

Based on the film by F.W. Murnau

Adapted for the stage by William A. Reilly and Lisaun Whittingham               

I was fortunate enough to see Crown City’s “Nosferatu” last year, and I have to say I am just as enthralled with the production this time around.

William A. Reilly and Lisaun Whittingham have adapted the classic 1922 black and white silent film to the stage featuring the music of Lizst, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Grieg, Beethoven and Stravinsky, and it plays perfectly on the very cinematic Crown City stage. 


They keep loyal to the film’s original setting in remote villages in Germany and Transylvania, and the play is staged like a ballet, with dance and music propelling the story.  There is some narration, but the dialogue is told entirely through the use of subtitles, as if we were actually watching the original film. 

The lack of spoken dialogue is a very clever way of enticing the audience further into the play, making us take part in the physicality of it, creating a subtle and enchanting role for the audience, as we tell ourselves the story we watch unfolding on the stage before us. 

The imagery, wardrobe and makeup also play an important part in sustaining the illusion, the greys and blacks and sepias of the cast’s makeup create an almost two dimensional world that still somehow manages to jump out at us from the stage in unexpected moments, keeping us mesmerized and spellbound. 

There is a lot going on…the music, the dancing, the wardrobe, the effects, the makeup…but we are never overwhelmed, never inundated.  I think this has a lot to do with the two leads Alina Bolshakova and Michael Marchak and how beautifully and gracefully they develop their relationship.  They are both gifted dancers and wonderful actors and they play their roles with a poise and a gentleness that I found quite captivating and very compelling. 

Everyone is brilliant in fact and the supporting cast of villagers who dance and creep their way through the play are performed with deft and depth by one and all.  


In this production Count Orlok is played by the wonderful Michelle Holmes in a clever twist on the classic role. A lady count, how very modern! 

This is the right time of year for this sad and scary tale, but remember, Nosferatu is just as much about the love between Ellen and Thomas as it is a story of vampires and ghouls. 

This spirited and fascinating production of Nosferatu is well worth your pennies, but hurry and get your tickets, the run is from September 8 - October 30! 

Nosferatu is playing at Crown City Theatre, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood, 91602 

Friday & Saturday, 8PM and Sunday at 7PM

818) 605-5685


Alina Bolshakova - Ellen Hutter

Michael Marchak - Thomas Hutter

Michelle Holmes - Count Orlok



Director - Bill Reilly

Choreographer - Lisaun Whittingham 

Costume Design - Tanya Apuya

Lighting Design - Zad Potter 

Sound Design - Joe Shea

Projection Video - Daniel Donado, Chris Thume

Production Manager - Zad Potter 

House Manager - Michael Pammit 

House Tech - Zad Potter 

Producers - Crown City Theatre Company

Artistic Directors for Crown City - Gary Lamb and Bill Reilly

Read 5262 times Last modified on Wednesday, 14 September 2016 08:24
Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Writer, Filmmaker, Musician. Samantha has Produced over 60 short films and Written and Directed 20. She is the co-creator of 52 Films/52 Weeks and The Cinema Tribe Collective. She has written over 400 LA Theatre reviews and is partners in Xpress Records a Music Publishing Company in the UK.  This year she will be directing her first feature film which she also wrote, developing several others and is writing a children’s book. 

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