31 Days of Arkansas Rep: 1999’s DRACULA

The Rep went batty in February 1999 when it presented Steven Dietz’s retelling of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA.

Directed by Brad Mooy, the show starred Vincent Lamberti as the titular Count.

Others in the cast were Joy Schiebel, Christopher Zorker, Eva Kaminsky, Ronald J. Aulgur, David Heckel, Colly Carver, Stephanie Crenshaw, Lakeetra Gilbert, Paula Isbell, and Daryl D. Minefee.  All in the cast except Schiebel had previously appeared in shows for the Rep.

The angular set was designed by Mike Nichols. The costumes (including a velour cape lined in purple satin) were designed by Patricia Martin. David Neville provided the lighting design, while Ryan C. Mansfield was the sound designer.

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31 Days of Arkansas Rep: 1999’s AS BEES IN HONEY DROWN

A comedy about truth and trust, deception and decisions, Douglas Carter Beane’s As Bees in Honey Drown marked the first production of the 1999-2000 season for Arkansas Repertory Theatre.  It also signified the transition between Rep founder Cliff Fannin Baker and Bob Hupp as artistic director.

Baker directed this very dark comedy set in a sleek, modern late 1990s Manhattan. A fast-paced and almost cinematic feeling was abetted by Mike Nichols’ set design of rotating panels.

The cast was led by Jonna McElrath (who had appeared in Angels in America and other productions at the Rep) and John Houfe (Rep’s The Three Musketeers).  Mark Waterman, Angie Gilbert and Lakeetra Gilbert were also in the cast.

Baker would booked his post-Artistic Director career at the Rep with Douglas Carter Beane projects. While his first show post-retirement was As Bees in Honey Drown, his final was Sister Act which featured a revised libretto by Beane.