“When is the Vampire Ball at the American Writers Museum?” by S.M. O’Connor

      Next Chapter: The Vampire’s Ball at The American Writers Museum (A.W.M.) will be on Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy food, drinks, a live auction, and vampire stories in the Readers Hall.

      W.G.N.’s Nancy Loo will host the event, which is the Chicago Council of the American Writers Museum’s fundraiser for education initiatives.  Guests are invited to dress in Gothic attire.

      An individual ticket is $150.  For $500, one can get two Bronze Level tickets; for $1,000, one can get four Silver Level tickets; for $2,500, one can get six Gold Level tickets; and for $5,000, one can get ten Platinum Level tickets.  Click here to purchase tickets.

      The Platinum Sponsors are Calibur Advisors and Tricia Bedi.  The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is a Gold Sponsor.  Mitchell Gordon and Kristen Prinz are Silver Sponsors.  Kruse Asset Management, Mark Smith and Sarah Ferrill, and Art Garwin are Bronze Sponsors.

Pro Tips on Interpreting Vampire Costumes

      If a fellow is dressed the way Hungarian movie star Bela Lugosi (1882-1956) did to play Count Dracula on Broadway and in Dracula (1931), but with a top hat, he is either going for the look of (a) Spanish actor Carlos Villarías (1892-1976), who played Conde Drácula in Drácula (1931),[1] or (b) Lon Chaney, Senior (1883-1930) as the fake vampire in the lost silent mystery film London After Midnight (1927).  From a distance, a fellow dressed as Barnabas Collins[2] may be indistinguishable from someone dressed as Count Dracula, but the giveaway is the inclusion of an Inverness cape-type overcoat and a walking stick.  Just don’t go as the “space vampires” from Lifeforce (1985) or you’re liable to get arrested… and cold.

      The American Writers Museum is located on the second floor of the building at the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street in downtown Chicago.  The address is 180 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60601.


[1] Drácula (1931) was a Spanish-language film Universal Pictures produced at night on the same soundstage as the more famous English-language production.

[2] Canadian actor Jonathan Frid (1924-2012) played Barnabas Collins in the A.B.C. daytime soap opera Dark Shadows (1966-1971), which M-G-M Television made for A.B.C.  He reprised the role, in a way, when he played Barnabas Collins in the horror film House of Dark Shadows (1970) which gave an abridged version of the Barnabas Collins storyline up to that point while the show was still in production.  English actor Ben Cross played Barnabas Collins in the N.B.C. nighttime soap opera Dark Shadows (1991), a lavish production which M-G-M Television made for N.B.C.  Dan Curtis (1927-2006) created the gothic soap opera and produced both the original series and the revival.  He also produced and directed both the first and second spin-off theatrical films House of Dark Shadows (1970) and Night of Dark Shadows (1971), both of which were released by M-G-M.  American movie star Johnny Depp starred as Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows (2012), a theatrical feature film that Tim Burton directed for Warner Brothers.  It was more of a black comedy than a horror film.

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