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Joseph Papke as Dracula prepares a fatal bite Emma Gochberg in the role of Emma in the Paul Bunyan Playhouse production of "Bran Stoker's Dracula" opening at 8 p.m. today at the Chief Theatre. Submitted Photo

Paul Bunyan Playhouse: Dracula takes to the stage

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Paul Bunyan Playhouse: Dracula takes to the stage
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Paul Bunyan Playhouse Artistic Director Zach Curtis brings the horror of "Bram Stoker's Dracula" to the stage at the Chief Theatre in this PG13 adaptation by Steven Dietz.

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Stoker's original vampire story was first published in 1897, and this production follows the book closely. Curtis chose it after reading through a dozen different scripts. The artistic staff's contributions give the hypnotic story an effortless flow and lighting, sets, makeup and costumes work together to complete a layering of fear built scene by scene, as only this original monster tale can do.

Dracula has been followed by many other tales of the undead, but the original remains the standard bearer. Currently enjoying success is the "Twilight" series, featuring a family of friendly vampires, but the Dracula onstage at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse has no use for humans, except as sustenance. However, love once again overcomes all odds, even the undead ones, and humanity is finally delivered from the evil centuries-old existence of the Count.

Opening night for Dracula is today, July 7, with performances through Saturday, July 17, in the historic Chief Theatre, 312 Beltrami Avenue N.W. Evening performances start at 8 p.m. and tickets are $22. The Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m. July 11 when tickets are $11. Student tickets are $10 for anyone younger than 21 and must be purchased in person at the theater. All other tickets may be purchased through the Playhouse Box Office at 751-7270 or online at www.PaulBunyanPlayhouse.com.

The 60th season at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse continues with "The Boys Next Door" July 21-31 and the musical "Gypsy" Aug. 4-14.

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Pioneer staff reports
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