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SYNOPSIS with SONG CLIPS
TIME AND PLACE
Winter, 1922, in an English drawing room above a madhouse, on the coast of England on the North Sea, near a precipice.
SEWARD, the psychiatrist who runs the sanatorium;
LUCY, his granddaughter, a rebellious “flapper";
PERDITA, his prim, scholarly, adopted daughter;
HELSINGER, an alcoholic scholar who tutors the girls;
RENFIELD, a patient who is having religious delusions;
HARKER, Lucy’s suave fiancé;
HOSKINS, the Cockney butler and orderly;
BRIGID, their illiterate Irish immigrant cook and housekeeper...and more.
(Click on the song titles to hear clips)
ACT I Scene 1
All await the nobleman coming for treatment. They sing an outwardly happy song with dark and anxious overtones.
(A Young and Foreign Nobleman)
ACT I Scene 2
Renfield bursts in and sings of a world “red in tooth, red in claw” and of some messiah to come.
ACT I Scene 3
Seward and Harker drink to calm their nerves, and Seward explains Helsinger’s past.
An inebriated Helsinger enters looking for the book; he is unaware of the new patient and is astonished that he has been reading his very history.
They sing their university drinking song about the irony and heartbreak of life and the happy respite of strong drink.
ACT I Scene 4
The household welcomes Count Vlad.
He has come to rid himself of his addictions to drugs and the blood of virgins--only to find that Dr. Seward has two lovely young "intact" daughters...and cabinets full of drugs.
Vlad sings the legend of how he contracted his inherited blood malady.
Brigid enters and freezes at the sight of Vlad.
ACT I Scene 5
Helsinger tutors Lucy and Perdita in poetry; the poems foreshadow events to come. Perdita has a school-girl crush on Helsinger. Alone, he sings her praise and chides himself not to pick the bloom from her. (Blossom)
ACT I Scene 6
Renfield accosts Vlad in the Arboretum. He thinks Vlad has come to rescue him.
He offers Vlad drugs. Vlad spurns him.
Renfield scuttles backward and exits, but drops the vial and the syringe.
Vlad sees it. He is tempted. His fate hangs on the next moment.
He scoops it up, crosses to the chair in the darkened alcove, and stares at the vial and syringe.
ACT I Scene 7
Below stairs, Brigid and Hoskins mock and tease one another in a battle-of-the-sexes duet. (I Fink You T’ink)
ACT I Scene 8
Lucy tracks Vlad to the Arboretum and interrupts him as he is about to inject himself.
She flirts with him unmercifully and implores Vlad to teach her the tango.
He demurs, she persists--and “unleashes the beast” within him.
They tango, and he sings of the ecstasy he can bring--with her permission.
He injects her with drugs, trades blood, then deflowers her.
ACT I (continued)
Brigid reports to the men that Lucy is ill and has slept the night in the arboretum.
Renfield crashes in to jeer at them about how Vlad will subjugate them all. (Renfield’s Taunt)
Knowing the vampire's preference for virgin blood, Helsinger questions Harker whether Lucy is still a virgin.
They all rush to Lucy’s side.
-- INTERMISSION --
ACT II Scene 1
The three men rush to Lucy’s side.
Helsinger finds an injection mark on her arm and a love bite in the crook of her arm and on her neck.
Lucy confides in Perdita about her infatuation with Vlad.
Lucy scolds Harker for interrupting her sleep which she has feigned to avoid him. He sings a lament of the loss of her love. (He Has You)
ACT II Scene 2
Harker confronts Vlad for alienating her affections, but Vlad reassures him.
They exit, but Vlad reenters to sing a misogynistic ode extolling the joy of “merging with a virgin.” He dances a dream tango with Lucy and Perdita. (Virgins)
Vlad tells Lucy that Harker has threatened him. She vows to protect Vlad.
Vlad gives her a syringe filled with opiates to dispatch Harker.
ACT II Scene 3
Lucy seduces Harker and murders him. Realizing her crime, she screams and runs out and over the cliff into the sea.
ACT II Scene 4
Seward, Helsinger, and Hoskins hear the scream and rush in.
They find Harker's dead body.
Seward and Hoskins carry off Harker's body.
Perdita is on her knees weeping. Helsinger goes to comfort her and helps her to her feet. She almost tells him she loves him but shies away.
She also tells him that, like Lucy, she is infatuated with Vlad.
Helsinger asks Perdita to do some research on Vlad’s past. She agrees.
ACT II Scene 5
Vlad reviles Renfield for tempting him. He realizes that he will continue his monstrous ways without hope of salvation, and predicts that his nature is already leading him to prey on the innocent.
He tells Renfield that he no longer needs the drugs, but needs blood and orders him to drain the other patients to get it.
He also orders Renfield to be his informant and watch all that goes on in the house.
ACT II Scene 6
Brigid is dusting when Vlad appears behind her.
He tells her he knows what she is and warns her not to interfere.
He invites her to join the entourage he plans on gathering.
She vows to protect the family and promises to destroy him.
ACT II Scene 7
Vlad surprises Perdita who reviles him for driving Lucy over the brink.
Perdita interrogates him as to how he contracted his disease, and he discloses the true story of how he was bitten by a bat in South America – 400 years ago.
Perdita is incredulous. Since she intends to become a physician, she asks to examine him.
She becomes entranced.
He looks at her fully for the first time and is dumbfounded at her likeness to the girl who saved him in the jungle.
They tango and sing of their fascination and apprehension. (Duet)
Vlad begins to seduce her as he did Lucy but is overcome by love and flees.
ACT II (continued)
Brigid sings of her unrequited love for Helsinger for she knows he loves his student Perdita.
Perdita interrupts and begs for help because she is obsessed with Vlad.
Brigid tells her that she needs to be “inoculated”–deflowered–so that he will no longer desire her since his appetite is only for virgins.
She sends her into Helsinger’s study to be deflowered by her tutor.
Alone, she finishes her song of woe.
ACT II Scene 9
Perdita demands Helsinger “draw first blood” to dispel the danger from Vlad. (Teacher)
ACT II Scene 10
Vlad watches Perdita exit the study and bemoans that another poor maid has been undone, but dismisses it for love of her. (Another Poor Maid)
ACT II Scene 11
Vlad approaches Helsinger to persuade him to “build a family” to undo his loneliness and that they become a triad, a ménage à trois. Though Vlad has always been the alpha, he offers to share so that Perdita will be persuaded to come.
Helsinger is disgusted and rejects it as unnatural.
Infuriated, Vlad vows that Perdita will come with him regardless.
ACT II Scene 12
Vlad finds Perdita and begs her to come away with him.
She is on the verge of consenting – then fearfully runs away.
Vlad becomes frantic and furious to the point of madness. He vows to kill Brigid, whom he blames.
ACT II Scene 13
Brigid is brewing up a potion to dispatch him. Vlad approaches singing his intentions in
He scoffs at her using her broom as a weapon.
He is overwhelming her when Hoskins enters to defend her, but Hoskins is restrained from behind by Renfield while Vlad stabs Hoskins with Brigid’s carving knife.
Seward attacks Vlad with a Crucifix but he laughs at it, breaks it in half, and cuffs Seward.
In the background, we see Brigid pour the potion over her splintered broom, and while Vlad continues to taunt her.
(To Kill a Witch, part two).
Brigid lunges at him but he parries, and he is about to cut her throat when Perdita enters.
He loosens his grip on Brigid to reach out to Perdita.
Brigid impales up him from behind up between his legs with her poisoned broom. As he dies, she leans down and taunts him with, “Let your last thought be 'twas a woman who sent you straight to hell!”
Perdita kneels and begs Vlad to revive. Each character sings their own remorse. (Finale/Reprise)
A beat after the music fades, Vlad resurrects and raises up like a cobra.
All react in horror except Perdita who is elated and Lucy who is maniacally gleeful.
-- CURTAIN --
Copyright 2018. John McMullen.
All rights reserved.