Not that they don't spring up like mushrooms this time every year, but (a) the variety of adaptations on the local theatre scene this year seems unusual, though that may be simply because (b) I have connections to three out of the four I know about.
- The Building Stage (9/18 - 10/18) opens first, and is also the only one to which I have no connection. Original adaptation. I'm always skeptical of the Drac-as-misunderstood-hero angle, but the multimedia approach sounds promising. I've been curious about it since I saw the audition notice a couple months back -- this seems to be another group joining the burgeoning physicality-heavy theatre scene, which has been rapidly gaining traction with the success of companies like the House and Lookingglass. I've been watching the trend with no little interest, and it would not displease me in the least to see it become as identified with Chicago as improv is.
- Theatre-Hikes (9/27 - 10/26) is where I did Shrew this summer. It's TheGodawfulHamiltonDeanePlay, but I have faith in Frank's ability to make something watchable out of it, and actually suspect that the hike format will ameliorate some of my structural gripes with that script. Also, there is no such thing as a bad reason to spend a couple hours in the amazingly gorgeous Morton Arboretum.
- First Folio Shakespeare Festival (10/1 - 11/2) has opted for The Passion of Dracula, a tongue-in-cheek take that premiered in the late 70s. I've read it once, years ago, but never seen it produced. Tricky script -- either too much camp or too much seriousness will smash it flat. I haven't actually seen anything Alison Vesely has directed, but I've heard good things about how she handles Shakespeare comedy, which implies she knows how to trust the text. So it should be fun. Plus their Mina is a friend of mine from a couple past shows, and they're about ten minutes from Office of Doom (in the opposite direction from the next one on the list).
- Last but of course not least, GreenMan Theatre (10/17 - 11/2) takes on Steven Dietz's 1995 adaptation, which I like more every time I read it. And you'll all be sick of hearing about my Fun With Trying To Eat Jonathan Harker soon enough, so I'll leave it there. *g*