Stage Appearances

Researched and compiled exclusively for BelaLugosi.com
by Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger based on the best available primary resources.

jesusHUNGARY

Until the time of his death, Bela Lugosi remained proud of his stage career in Hungary. Unfortunately, surviving records do not provide a complete picture of his work in the country. Lugosi's earliest known performance came in Ocskay Brigadéros (Brigadier General Ocskay) on August 24, 1902 in Hatseg. By 1903, he joined a repertory company in Deva, and then another in Temesvar, where he appeared in such plays as Trilby. From 1904 through 1909, Lugosi's precise movements are difficult to chart, though he apparently acted in different repertory companies in a number of cities and towns. 

As of the autumn of 1910, Lugosi was an important player in Szeged, where he received great acclaim for portraying the male lead in Romeo and Juliet. In 1911 and 1912, Lugosi became a notable actor in Budapest, so much so that he joined the prestigious Nemzeti Színház (National Theater) in 1913, and continued to appear there until 1919. As was typical of Hungarian actors, his roles varied from small to large in plays that ranged from comedy to tragedy. Lugosi also made at least a few appearances in other cities during those years, most notably as Jesus Christ in a Passion play in Debrecen in 1916.

Bela Lugosi appeared in well over 200 currently documented stage productions in his lifetime, with the bulk of his classical stage performances occurring in Hungary. The performances listed here represent his currently documented stage appearances in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

UNITED STATES, UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA 

Almost Married (Házasodjunk) (Role Unknown)
Opening Night: February 20, 1921, at the 39th Street Theater, New York, New York

Fata Morgana (Role Unknown)
Opening Night: April, 1921

Little Miss Bluebeard (Bela Lugosi, Director)
Opening Night: June, 1921

Yellow Lily (Sárga Liliom) (Bela Lugosi, Director)
Opening Night: July, 1921

Happiness (Bela Lugosi, Director)
Opening Night: July, 1921

Az Ember Tragédiája - The Tragedy of Man (Adam)
Opening Night: April 8, 1922, at the Lexington Theater in New York, New York.

The Red Poppy (Fernando)
Opening Night: December 20, 1922, at the Greenwich Village Theater, New York, New York.

The Werewolf (Vincente)
Opening Night: June 1, 1924, at the Adelphi Theater in Chicago, Illinois.

Arabesque (Sheik of Hammam)
Opening Night: October 20, 1925, at the National Theatre in New York, New York.

Open House (Sergius Chernoff)
Opening Night: December 14, 1925, at Daly’s Theater, New York, New York.

The Devil in the Cheese (Father Petros)
Opening Night: December 29, 1926, at the Charles Hopkins Theater in New York, New York.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: October 5, 1927, at the Fulton Theatre in New York, New York.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: June 24, 1928, at the Biltmore Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: May 19, 1929, at the Music Box Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: July 6, 1930, at the Fulton Theater in Oakland, California.

Murdered Alive (Dr. Orloff)
Opening Night: April 2, 1932, at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: May 29, 1932, at the El Capitan Theatre in Portland, Oregon.

Murder at the Vanities (Siebenkase)
Opening Night: September 8, 1933, at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York, New York.

Tovarich (Commissar Gorotchenko)
Opening Night: March 22, 1937, at the Curran Theatre of San Francisco, California.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: April 30, 1943, at the Klein Auditorium in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan Brewster)
Opening Night: August 5, 1943, at the Tivoli Theatre in San Francisco, California.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan Brewster)
Opening Night: January 29, 1944, at the Shrine Auditorium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

No Traveler Returns (Bharat Singh, a Hindu Servant)
Opening Night: February 24, 1945, at the Lobero Theater, Santa Barbara, California.

That We May Live (Narrator)
Opening Night: December 17, 1946, at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California.

Three Indelicate Ladies (Francis O'Rourke)
Opening Night: April 10, 1947, at the Schubert Theater, New Haven, Connecticut.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan Brewster)
Opening Night: July 01, 1947, at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: July 14, 1947, at the John Drew Theater in East Hampton, Long Island, New York.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: July 21, 1947, at the Boston Summer Theater in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: July 28, 1947, at the Cambridge Summer Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan Brewster)
Opening Night: August 5, 1947, at the Spa Summer Theater in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: August 18, 1947, at the Kenley Deer Lake Theatre, Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan Brewster)
Opening Night: August 25, 1947, at the Fairhaven Summer Theatre, Fairhaven, Massachusetts.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: September 2, 1947, at the Litchfield Summer Theatre, Litchfield, Connecticut.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: July 8, 1948, at the Phipps Auditorium, Denver, Colorado.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: July 19, 1948, at the Green Hills Theatre, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: August 2, 1948, at the Norwich Playhouse, Norwich, Connecticut.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan Brewster)
Opening Night: August 9, 1948, at the Sea Cliff Summer Theater in Sea Cliff, New Jersey.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan Brewster)
Opening Night: July 11, 1949, at the Famous Artists Country Playhouse in Fayetteville, New York.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan Brewster)
Opening Night: July 26, 1949, at the Lakeside Theatre, Lake Hopatcong, Landing, New Jersey.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan Brewster)
Opening Night: August 1, 1949, at the Litchfiled Summer Theatre, Litchfield, Connecticut.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan Brewster)
Opening Night: August 9, 1949, at the Ocean Playhouse (Ocean Hall), Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan Brewster)
Opening Night: August 16, 1949, at the Green Hills Theatre, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: March 20, 1950, with the St. Petersburg Players at Southside Junior High School, St. Petersburg, Florida.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: July 4, 1950, at St. Michael’s Playhouse, Winooski Park, Vermont.

The Devil Also Dreams (Alexander Martin Petofy)
Opening Night: July 24, 1950, at the Somerset Summer Theater in Somerset, Massachusetts.

Dracula (Count Dracula)
Opening Night: April 30, 1951, at the Royal Theatre in Brighton, England.

Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan Brewster)
Opening Night: January 19, 1954, at the Empress Playhouse in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Devil’s Paradise (International Drug Smuggler)
Opening Night: June 8, 1956, at Hollywood’s Troupers Green Room. Bela Lugosi was supposed to appear as an international drug smuggler in the play. Mention of the play had been made in the press as early as March of 1956. Despite the fact that a promotional flyer exists, it seems evident that ­– while rehearsals likely occurred and publicity photographs were definitely taken – the play was not actually staged.