Many of the actors have wonderful moments. Anne Alquist as Mina is beautiful and fragile, the epitome of goodness while her sister, Suzan Beraza, is a strong, expressive non-sexual presence. Lori Vincent as Mina's friend Lucy has an incredible scene where she is raped and killed by the invisible Vampire. Vincent writhes about the stage, fighting off this unseen evil. Chorus members who double as various minor characters are also given a chance to shine. Gonzalo Muñoz and Dario Tangelson have a funny scene as prison guards duped by the sneaky Renfield.
And I have saved the best for last: Nikolai Kinski. Kinski's name is synonymous with the Nosferatu legend; Nikolai's father Klaus played the Vampire in director Werner Herzog's 1979 remake of the 1922 classic. How does young Kinski fare? Talent runs in his family, particularly when playing evil, eerie characters. Kinski's Nosferatu is simultaneously terrifying and sensual. You are drawn to and repulsed by him at the same time. When he is onstage, all eyes are on him--every actor's, every audience member's. He seemingly floats on stage, alternating between a controlled calm and aggravated, aggressive behavior.
The show is too long, a problem that could be easily solved if the director cut some of the needless dialogue. This is a production that tells so much of its story visually, yet there are scenes when suddenly everyone becomes very chatty. I watched Murnau's Nosferatu out of curiosity. It was clear that Migliaccio was emulating the 1922 classic, but how much? Migliaccio does a scene-by-scene recreation, and almost all the dialogue spoken on stage is taken from the silent film's dialogue cards. This does not always work. For example, when a doctor comes to examine Mina in her delirium there is a beautiful tableau on stage: Mina lying helpless and ill on the bed with the doctor, and her friend Lucy leaning over her. As the music fades out the doctor cries, "A sudden fever!" No kidding.
In the Murnau classic, the doctor actually does cry out that line, but since it is a silent film, the card tells us without breaking the mood. This may seem like an inconsequential quibble, but Nosferatu is a show so meticulously structured and timed, little problems like that become glaring. There are other similar moments--for instance, when a pre-recorded cock crows to signify daylight when the lighting has already made it clear. If a good percentage of the dialogue was cut, it would reduce the length, and increase the beauty, of the piece.
In the program there is a note about the Dracula legend, and Nosferatu in particular, which reads, "Nosferatu became a foreboding allegory on the rise of Nazism." Today the story can be interpreted in many ways: as an allegory for AIDS, a comment on our class structure, the unseen evils of the new technological age. Thankfully, this Nosferatu can also be enjoyed as a classic horror tale.