The big event will be held at the Brooklyn Marriott Hotel the weekend of August 19-21. It is the first time the festival has been held in Brooklyn since 2006.
A resident of New York City for 40 years before retiring to his native Canada, Jonathan Frid attained worldwide fame with his portrayal of Barnabas Collins from 1967 to 1971. This is Frid’s first appearance in New York City since the 1993 festival. In Brooklyn, he will be reprising his role of Barnabas in a skit with fellow star David Selby.
While the Dark Shadows Festivals have been held in various locations both in the New York and Los Angeles areas since 1983, the big buzz this year is the return of the show’s big star to Brooklyn, and the production of the new Dark Shadows movie starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, which is currently being filmed in England.
Frid himself recently went to England to film a cameo for the movie, scheduled for release in May 2012.
With a daunting filming schedule, Depp will not be appearing at this year’s f, but fans of the original series are thrilled nonetheless at the chance to see Frid, whose original portrayal of the reluctant and tortured vampire was distinguished by the vampire’s genuine human feelings and remorse.
Frid was a stage actor living in Manhattan when he got the call to play Barnabas Collins in 1967. The introduction of his character saved the show from cancellation and created one of the most memorable and beloved characters in television history.
“This is the 45th anniversary of the beginning of Dark Shadows," said festival director Jim Pierson. "We are looking at this year’s festival as like a high school reunion. Fans really love the Brooklyn area, so it should be a great time.”
In addition to Frid, other original series stars David Selby, Lara Parker, and Kathryn Leigh Scott also filmed cameos for the new Depp remake, according to Pierson. All four will also be at the festival in Brooklyn.
The Dark Shadows Festivals are famous for bringing loyal fans year after year from all over the country. Bob Issel, who lives in Chicago, is going to his 21st straight Dark Shadows Festival.
“My goal in 1991 was to meet the vampire Barnabas Collins," he said. "It was a big thrill. It is fantastic that Jonathan Frid still attends these events.”
Cindy Yeats of Daytona Beach, Florida, has attended every event since 1997. She first met Frid in 1998 at Hofstra University with a college theater group.
“He was a very nice man,” she said. “He was happy doing college theater. It’s wonderful that he is still so active.”
Fans who are interested in attending the Festival can go to darkshadowsfestival.com.
Frank Borzellieri is the author of “The Physics of Dark Shadows,” available at culturalstudiespress.com or amazon.com.