Dracula was always meant to be adapted to the stage. At the time that he wrote his most famous novel, Bram Stoker was working as the business manager for the Lyceum Theatre in London, owned by his friend, the renowned actor Henry Irving. Irving’s performances were often dark and dramatic, and he was best known for playing charismatic villains. It’s even been suggested that he partially inspired the appearance and personality of the Count in Stoker’s novel. Thus, it should come as no surprise that when Stoker finished his masterpiece, he envisioned Irving playing the titular character in a stage adaptation. He even drafted a script and ran through a staged reading of Dracula, or The Undead at the Lyceum, afterwards eagerly asking Irving what he thought. Irving’s answer, however, shut down any hopes Stoker had for his stage production: he summed up his opinion in one word: “Dreadful.”
Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray took on new life this summer in a musical adaptation as part of the New York Musical Festival. NYMF is a three-week annual festival that seeks to shine the spotlight on new works, many of which go on to perform Off-Broadway, and some even make it to the Great White Way! Dorian Gray: The Musical began as a graduate thesis project for playwright Christopher Dayett, with music arranged by Kevin Mucchetti. Last week, the beta musical appeared in three showings at the Acorn Theater. Director Christen Mandracchia invited me to attend a performance and share my opinion on the show. Continue reading Dorian Gray: The Musical, a NYMF Production
Last weekend, I went to one of the largest steampunk events in the world, Jeff Mach’s Steampunk World’s Fair. For those who are unfamiliar, steampunk is an alternative fashion/music/literature scene, which can essentially be summed up as Victorian futurism—imagine a world where, on the cusp of the industrial revolution, technology advanced through steam power and gears instead of electricity and computers. The fashion blends corsets and top hats with brass and goggles, while the literature tends to feature dirigibles, automatons, and mad scientists. And the first weekend in May is when hundreds of steampunks from around the country take over two hotels in the middle of Piscataway, New Jersey. I’ve been attending Steampunk World’s Fair for many years, and two weeks ago I gave you a preview of what I was looking forward to at this year’s convention in particular. Read on to see how last weekend lived up to my expectations. Continue reading Steampunk World’s Fair 2017: Where Goth and Steampunk Meet
The biggest steampunk event of the year is just around the corner! Steampunk World’s Fair is one of Jeff Mach’s most popular events and the largest steampunk convention in the world. Earlier this year, I attended and wrote about my experience at two of Jeff Mach’s brand new conventions: the fairy-themed Glimmerdark and the three-day goth party that was Dark Side of the Con. Now it’s time to return to one of my old favorites. I have been attending Steampunk World’s Fair for about five years, and it never fails to impress. The convention takes over two hotels in Piscataway, New Jersey, and will be taking place next weekend, May 5–7.
While I was thrilled to attend two events this year with a more overtly dark aesthetic, I always feel at home at Jeff Mach’s steampunk events, despite not quite ascribing to that subculture myself. Goth and steampunk have much in common, which I’ve written about at length for the Steampunk Tourist blog. In short, though, I can always rely on a steampunk convention to bring me together with other people who enjoy literature, Victorian fashion, and tea. Below, I’ll share with you a few things that I’m looking forward to at this year’s SPWF in particular: Continue reading Preview of Steampunk World’s Fair 2017
Last weekend I went over to the Dark Side, at Jeff Mach and VampireFreaks’s newest convention, a three-day event designed specifically for goths. Dark Side of the Con came right on the heels of another brand new convention, Glimmerdark, which I attended and posted a rundown of last month. In my overview, I noted that Glimmerdark hit a few snags trying to figure out what kind of convention it was and what audience it wanted to cater to. Dark Side of the Con, I felt, had no such problem. The convention was geared toward a very specific audience—goths—and with VampireFreaks helping to run the show, it was an audience that the organizers knew well. A few weeks ago, I posted a preview of which aspects of the con I was looking forward to most. Overall, my expectations fared pretty well against reality, despite the fact that a poorly timed sore throat and headache prevented me from getting as much out of the weekend as I wanted to. Read on for some highlights of the convention.
Want to spend a weekend just letting your goth flag fly in a hotel full of other creatures of the night? This St. Patrick’s Day weekend, you can dodge the garish green and seclude yourself among like-minded admirers of a monochrome wardrobe at Dark Side of the Con. Last month I gave you all a sneak peek and then overview of a brand new faerie festival called Glimmerdark. Now I’ve been invited back to attend another inaugural Jeff Mach Event and report back with my thoughts. Dark Side of the Con, happening in Piscataway, NJ, on March 17–19, is a new goth convention co-hosted by Jeff Mach and Vampire Freaks—the creators of a thriving online goth community and purveyors of excellent gothic goods. I’ll give you the low-down after the con, but in the meantime, here’s what’s got me excited, so far:
Last weekend, a three-day long faerie revel took over a hotel in Princeton, New Jersey. This misfit faerie festival known as Glimmerdark is one of the newest conventions created by goth/geek/steampunk event coordinator Jeff Mach. A few weeks ago, I gave you all a preview of what I was looking forward to at this event. I would say that although the convention hit a few organizational snags, it met most of my expectations and I had a delightful time—as I always do at Jeff Mach Events.
What better way to dispel the midwinter blues than to disappear into a magical world of freaks and faeries for a weekend? Glimmerdark is a brand new convention run by Jeff Mach, who organizes cons throughout the northeast including the world’s largest steampunk event. My favorite Jeff Mach Event, the indoor Renaissance festival known as Wicked Faire, had its final run last year and Glimmerdark has sprung up in its place. The new con has been described as a “misfit faerie festival” and “a hotel party unparalleled in all space and time.” The multi-genre convention encourages people of all worlds and genres to venture into Faerie and enjoy a weekend of performances, workshops, and alluring crafts and creations for purchase. The convention takes place the first weekend of February in Princeton, NJ, and I’ve been invited to attend as press. I’ll be writing up a run-down after the convention, but I wanted to give you all a little taste of what I’m looking forward to most.
Last weekend, I ventured up to Boston to attend the Boston Teen Author Festival for the very first time. Young Adult literature is one of my passions, so I was excited to attend an entire book event dedicated to these authors. But what really motivated me to make the four-and-a-half hour trek was the opportunity to meet the author of the first vampire novel I ever read (and thus the author responsible for changing the course of my literary life)—Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. I was also excited to see a couple of authors that I met last summer at the Brooklyn Book Festival and to discover new authors whose books I might like.
Last weekend I went on my first ghost tour of New York City! Reading about ghosts and ghouls is all well and good, but sometimes you just have to get out there and experience their haunts and historical sites for yourself. Ghost tours are a great way to not only get some fresh air with your scares, but also to learn about some local history. And no one does this better than Boroughs of the Dead. Boroughs of the Dead is a local, independent, woman-owned boutique walking tour business that specializes in the darker side of New York history. They offer tours across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, and are looking to expand into the other two boroughs as well. Many of their tour guides are writers and are skilled in both research and storytelling. In fact, I first heard of the company because Gaslamp fantasy author Leanna Renee Hieber is one of their tour guides.