Ever since the Twilight movies became huge Hollywood hits it seems like everybody is trying to cash in on the current Vampire craze. On the surface Wildclaw Theatre’s Carmilla is just another vampire story but this tale is much different. Carmilla is a play based on a novela by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. It was written 25 years before Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Those familiar with the story of Carmilla might easily describe it as a story about lesbian vampires. However, it’s much more than that. It’s also a coming of age story about a young girl named Laura. She lives in a remote part of the village with her father and she’s incredibly lonely. When she meets Carmilla, she seems somebody that she could be friends with. Carmilla has plans much bigger than just trying to be a friend to Laura.
One cannot talk about Wildclaw Theatre’s Carmilla without talking about the lead performance from Michaela Petro. Petro is fearless bringing this character to life. She has the task of having to go from a seductress to a blood thirsty killer at the drop of a hat and she does so with ease. It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that she was a vampire herself. Petro just fills the stage with an amazing presence.
The rest of the acting is either hit or miss. The best is Brittany Burch as Laura. She does a great job with her inner struggles on being loyal to her father but at the same time wanting to find her own way in the world. Special mention has to be made Scott Barsotti for creating two completely original characters that are so interesting that you don’t realize they’re being played by the same actor.
The most unique aspect of the play is the fight choreography of the vampire carnage. Scott Cummins, also the stage director, really spent a lot of time figuring out how to make these scenes exciting in the limited space. These scenes are the most thrilling for the audience. The actors all put a lot of effort, especially Petro and Sara Gorsky due to their having to behave like they’re feral animals hunting their prey.
Carmilla is a highly entertaining stage play that has a unique spin on the vampire legacy. The direction and the acting from Michaela Petro are the two highlights of the show. There are only a few weeks left so it’s suggested you purchase tickets as soon as possible for Wildclaw Theatre’s Carmilla.
Location: The Chicago DCA Storefront Theater
Thu-Sat: 7:30PM Sun: 3:00PM
General Admission: $20.00
Students: Thu and Sun $10.00
Tickets available through DCA Box Office.