Dracula: Thora Birch released from cast

Thora Birch, who was to have played 'Lucy,' has been released from the cast of the revival of Bram Stoker'sDracula. The play begins previews on 14 Dec 2010 at the LittleShubert Theatre, where it opens on 5 Jan 2011 for a limited engagement through to 13 Mar 2010.

There has been no reason provided for Birch exiting from the company.

Emily Bridges, Birch's understudy, steps into the role of 'Lucy.' Bridges is the co-author of a stage adaptation of 'Acting: The First Six Lessons,' which she wrote and performed with her father, Beau Bridges. A student at the London Dramatic Academy and Moscow Art Theatre School, she has appeared on stage in 'Gaslight,' 'The Princess and the Frog,' and 'Happy Hour' and the movies "Voyage of the Unicorn" and "The Uninvited."

Bridges was playing the part of 'Miss Wells,' which will now be taken over by Katharine Luckinbill. The daughter of actors Lucie Arnaz and Laurence Luckinbill and granddaughter of show business icons Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnaz, she studied at Conservatory at the University of Miami. Her credits include 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' 'Sonia Flew,' and Melinda Lopez's 'Alexandros.'

Dracula marks the New York stage debut of both Bridges and Luckinbill.

The cast also features two-time Tony Award-winner George Hearn (La Cage Aux Folles, Sunset Boulevard), Tony nominee Timothy Jerome (Me and My Girl), Jake Silbermann ("As the World Turns"), John Buffalo Mailer ("Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps") and Rob O'Hare (Hell House).

Dracula is being played by Michel Altieri, an Italian Tony Award winner who has appeared in Italy in such shows as 'Rent' and 'Beauty and The Beast.' He is making his American stage debut.

Dracula is written by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, based on the eponymous novel by Bram Stoker.

Based on the world-famous novel by Bram Stoker, Dracula is the classic Gothic drama about the power of seduction and the nature of true love. When the mysterious Count Dracula takes an interest in the beautiful, young Lucy who suffers from horrific dreams and a strange illness, he arouses the suspicions of her fiancé Jonathan Harker and Professor Abraham van Helsing. Following a series of grisly murders and unexplained occurrences, the men fear Dracula may be one of the undead that prowls the darkness and preys upon innocent souls.

Dracula features scenic design by Dana Kenn, lighting design by Brian Nason, costume design by Willa Kim, sound design by Chris DelVecchio and special effects by Greg Meeh.

Adapted by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, Dracula premiered in New York in 1927, starring Bela Lugosi. It was last seen on Broadway in 1977, starring Frank Langella. Winning two Tony Awards, including Best Revival, the production ran for more than 900 performances and inspired the 1979 film adaptation featuring Langella and Sir Laurence Olivier.

Bram Stoker's horror novel "Dracula," which itself is based on European folklore, has been an international phenomenon since it was first published in 1897. The novel's influence on the popularity of vampires has been singularly responsible for numerous stage, film and TV interpretations, including the modern-day vampires of Anne Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles,' Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series, HBO's "True Blood," and L.J. Smith's "The Vampire Diaries."

Dracula is produced by Bram Stoker's Dracula LLC, Tony Travis, George and Donna Shipley, Ed Bankole, Megan Barnett, Leslie Evers, Michael Alden, and Carolyn Bechtel.

Thora BirchEmily Bridges

Originally published on

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