Hollywood Gothique
LA Theatre GothiqueSolo Performance

Hollywood Fringe 2024: Dracula – Live from Transylvania

This one is a near-miss for us, at least in terms of the opening night* performance during preview week at Hollywood Fringe Fest. The subject matter is right up our alley – it is Dracula, after all – and the premise appeals to us because, long ago when we worked as a Hollywood script reader, we perused a spec script about a standup comedian who turns out to be the Count. It makes a weird kind of sense when you think about it: standup comedy is primarily a night-owl profession, so what better way for a vampire to earn extra cash? That movie script did little justice to the idea, but we had hopes that an actual standup routine, with an actor impersonating the King of Vampires, would be a macabre delight. That hope was rewarded with some good laughs; unfortunately, there were some missed cues and some awkward timing, and the Dracula-specific material ran dry midway through the hour-long set, leaving comedian Gerard Peters to spend his remaining time riffing on other topics.

The humor was geared mostly for a general audience (puns about blood, complaints about spending eternity with three vampire brides); one or two jokes were aimed at fans (at one point the Count references his “daughter” in the recent movie Abigail, which is not officially a Dracula movie even though it began development as a remake of Dracula’s Daughter). The audience laughed along with us at most of the gags, but they (figuratively) gagged at a couple of touchy subjects: a reference to OJ Simpson and a joke about Dracula beginning his day with a “cup of Joe” (presumably killing someone named Joe to drink his blood). In response, the Count asked the obvious question: “What did you expect?”

After the show, Peters solicited audience feedback, promising to bulk up the material for later performances. We have a couple of suggestions…

First, we want to hear Dracula talk more about his depictions in the media. We like the idea that the romanticized image of the seductive vampire has lured audiences to see his standup show, where he can tease the bloody truth behind the image by making jokes on tabu subjects like the Simpson murders and draining victims of blood. There is room for Bill Burr-type metacommentary noting when the audience objects to a comedian crossing a line. (Peters came close to this, noting when the audience turned on him.)

Second, we would like to see Dracula providing his perspective on human events. This is in response to the second half of the show, when Peters riffed on his favorite reality television show: it was funny, but it had nothing to do with Dracula. That kind of material could be incorporated into the Count’s standup routine: what does an immortal vampire think of humans wasting their relatively short lives watching – or, worse yet, appearing in – trashy TV shows?

In any case, the preview performance felt a little like a dress rehearsal for something that could be quite good after being further refined. We plan a return trip to see how much the show has improved by the time of its final performance.


  • The preview actually took place in the afternoon, but “opening day” sounds so wrong when talking about vampires.
Dracula: Live from Transylvania

Rating Scale

1 – Poor
2 – Mediocre
3 – Good
4 – Great
5 – Excellent

Dracula Live From Transylvania posterOpening night preview was a little shaky – some good material but not enough to fill the one-hour running time – so we’re giving this a 2.5 rating, which roughly translates as “almost but not quite.” We expect improvements in later shows.

Dracula: Live From Transylvania continues at Hollywood Fringe Festival with performances at the Eastwood Performing Arts Center on June 22 & 29. The address is 1089 N Oxford Avenue in Hollywood. Get more information here.

Credits: Created and performed by Gerard Peters.

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.