18 years since Romania’s anti-communist revolution, New-Yorkers have a chance to meet one of the country’s most renowned “export brands”, this time in the field of arts: the Ceausescus.

This time around, Ex-Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena are two vampires who haunt the dreams of the heroine of the “Waxing West” show debuting in New York with support from the Romanian Cultural Institute there.

The show is written by Saviana Stanescu, who won the Romanian national theater awards UNITER in 2000. It follows the story of Daniela Popescu, a make-up artist who leaves Romania for a new life in America.

Her attempts to adapt to the promised land are haunted by the ghosts of the dictator and his wife, who transform her dreams of fulfillment into a nightmare.

According to the playwright, the story of Daniela and the vampires terrorizing her is a parallel with the post-1989 history of Romania, still under the shadow of the Ceausescu regime: “in essence, it is a story about migration, about a Romanian woman who reached America and tries to escape the ghosts of the pasts”, Saviana Stanescu told us.

The two Ceausescus appear as vaudeville vampires who dress up the tragic story of migration in comic tones and reflect the state of being somewhere between two worlds, Saviana Stanescu says.

“It’s a story I believe in, because in a way it is the story of my own emigration”, she says. Stanescu reached New York only a week before the September 2001 attacks. She’s been strongly involved with the East Coast theater movement ever since.

The music of “Waxing West” comes from a musician from the Romanian city of Cluj, Lucian Ban, who’s become an important jazz musicians in the US.

To better suggest the atmosphere in Romania, American actors worked with a trainer in Eastern European accents and studied books about the recent history of Romania. “We looked for video materials, we read books on Romanian history, looked at pictures, searched Google.

We researched on the Internet, which helped us a lot and let us find this interesting thing, because the history of Romania is very consistent”, says Grant Neale, who plays Nicolae Ceausescu in the play.

By end of May this year, “Waxing West” will reach the Bucharest-based Act Theater and then be played at the International Theater Festival in Sibiu. There are already talks for a film based on the Saviana Stanescu’s show.