The entire cast of Broadway's Dance of the Vampires will convene at the Minskoff Theatre Dec. 16 to film a television commercial to battle back from the critical disapproval it received following its opening Dec. 9 (not to mention the typical box office lull in the winter months). The spots are planning to air the first week of January confirmed a production spokesperson.
Stars Michael Crawford, Rene Auberjonois, Mandy Gonzalez, Max von Essen, Ron Orbach, Asa Somers, Liz McCartney, Leah Hocking, Mark Price and the entire ensemble will perform numbers from the musical capitalized at $12 million. The Dec. 16 scheduled performance will still play that evening at 8 PM.
The TV ad will be the first marketing tactic that utilizes the Broadway cast. Hitherto, advertisements on radio, online and promotional samplers have employed other voices including Elaine Caswell, Kyle Gordon and the late Steve Barton — who originated the role of Count von Krolock in world premiere Tanz der Vampire.
Tony Award winner John Rando (Urinetown) directs and John Carrafa (Urinetown, Into The Woods) choreographs the musical starring Michael Crawford (The Phantom of the Opera) and features a score by Jim Steinman with a book by David Ives, Steinman and Michael Kunze (who is also credited with the original German book and lyrics). Set in Lower Belabartokovich, Carpathia in "1880-something," the revamped Broadway production begins, as director Rando best explained "Sarah and her two friends are out picking mushrooms when they come across this very forbidden territory, near the castle of the Count Von Krolock. They encounter an enormous amazing group of vampires — who happen to love rock 'n' roll and really dance to it well."
The production then follows the evil Count von Krolock and his mission to coax the young Sarah to his castle for her birthday — which happens to fall on the night of the total eclipse of the moon. However, her innkeeper father Chagal along with the object of his lust Magda and wife Rebecca have been enlisted by well-known vampire slayer, Professor Abronsius and his factotum Alfred to save her from the clutches of the night. Krolock — who also embodies matronly Madame von Krolock and a foul-mouthed bat — is also aided by his extremely effeminate son Herbert, his new Renfield-meets-Riff Raff slave Boris and the dozens of dancing damned in his quest.
Flying ballet dream sequences, naughty jokes, references to Meatloaf lyrics, special effects, enormous sets, sponges, garlic, garlic, graveyards, plenty of fog and dancing, fill the production with rock-infused songs by macabre composer Steinman whose popular "Total Eclipse of the Heart" — made famous by singer Bonnie Tyler — is featured in the musical with slightly altered lyrics.
The creative team behind Dance of the Vampires includes David Gallo (scenic design) — whose massive drawbridge has received its own applause, Ann Hould Ward (costume design), Richard Ryan (sound), Ken Billington (lighting design), David Lawrence (hair and wigs) and Angelina Avallone (make-up). Patrick Vacariello serves as musical director, Steve Margoshes orchestrates and Michael Reed handles musical supervision.
The Broadway run is being produced by Bob Boyett, USA Ostar, Andrew Braunsberg, Lawrence Horowitz, Michael Gardner, Roy Furman, Lexington Road Productions and David Sonenberg, in association with Fuchs/Swinsky, LFG Holdings, Clear Channel Entertainment, Kathryn Conway, Arielle Tepper, Norman Brownstein and William Carrick.
Tickets to Dance of the Vampires at the Minskoff, 200 West 45 Street, can be purchased via Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100, (800) 755-4000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit the show's website at www.danceofthevampires.com.