Director John Rando Returns to Work on Dance of the Vampires

News   Director John Rando Returns to Work on Dance of the Vampires Tony Award-winning director John Rando returned to New York Nov. 11 to resume work on Dance of the Vampires following a visit to Texas to be with his ailing mother, a production spokesman confirmed.

Tony Award-winning director John Rando returned to New York Nov. 11 to resume work on Dance of the Vampires following a visit to Texas to be with his ailing mother, a production spokesman confirmed.

Due to Rando's absence, producers delayed the Broadway opening of the darkly comic musical at the Minskoff to Dec. 9, from Nov. 21.

At the end of his Tony acceptance speech for Best Director (Musical) for Urinetown last June, Rando quipped, "Mom, you can take the oxygen off. It's okay now." Later that month, Rando revealed to Playbill On Line: "My mom has had heart trouble and she is actually on oxygen. She was watching in Houston, Texas, with my sister who lives there. And my mom was really, really amazed and thrilled and couldn't talk. Right afterwards, they called me on my cell phone and mom tried to talk but she couldn't. It was very emotional." (Read the full interview in Playbill On-Line's Brief Encounter section).

The revamped Broadway production, which began performances Oct. 16 following a two-day technical postponement, was originally scheduled to open Nov. 21.

* Rando (Urinetown) directs and John Carrafa (Urinetown, Into The Woods) choreographs the musical, based on the Roman Polanski film, "The Fearless Vampire Killers," which turns the Minskoff Theatre into 1880's Lower Belabartokovich, Carpathia.

"It starts out in a graveyard with a church behind it, very spooky," began Dance of the Vampires director John Rando, at a Sept. 18 press preview for the musical. Rando then interrupted himself with a cackle the cast seemed familiar with, before continuing: "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."

Tony Award winner Michael Crawford (The Phantom of the Opera) heads the cast as Count von Krolock (and other small roles) with Rene Auberjonois (City of Angels) as Professor Abronsius, Mandy Gonzalez (Aida) as Sarah, Max von Essen (Jesus Christ Superstar) as Alfred, Ron Orbach (Laughter On The 23rd Floor) as Chagal and Asa Somers (The Rocky Horror Show) as Herbert. Joining them will be Liz McCartney as Rebecca, Leah Hocking (replacing Julia Murney) as Magda and Mark Price as Boris.

The Vampires ensemble includes David Benoit, Alyssa Claar, Lindsay Dunn, Jocelyn Dowling, Edgar Godineaux, Ashley Amber Haase, Derric Harris, Kerrin Hubbard, Robin Irwin, Terace Jones, Larry Keigwin, Brendan King, Heather McFadden, Raymond McLeod, Erin Leigh Peck, Nathan Peck, Andy Pellick, Joye Ross, Solange Sandy, Jennifer Savelli, Sara Schmidt, Jonathan Sharp, Doug Storm, Jenny Lynn Suckling, Timothy Warren and Jason Wooten. Jekyll & Hyde's Robert Evan will serve as the standby for Crawford and Auberjonois.

The creative team behind Dance of the Vampires includes David Gallo (scenic design), Ann Hould-Ward (costume design), Richard Ryan (sound), Ken Billington (lighting design), David Lawrence (hair and wigs) and Angelina Avallone (make-up). Musical director will be Patrick Vacariello, orchestrator Steve Margoshes and musical supervision is by Michael Reed. The $12 million 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.

Before the cast was even, it was announced the original cast recording of Dance of the Vampires will be released by Interscope Records.

Composer Steinman is best known for his epic rock songs including Meatloaf's "Bat Out of Hell" albums, Air Supply's "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All," Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" and Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart," which is featured in the musical. The songlist includes "Overture," "Angels Arise," "God Has Left The Building," "Original Sin," "Garlic," "Logic," "There's Never Been A Night Like This," "Don't Leave Daddy," "The Invitation," "A Good Nightmare Comes So Rarely," "The Devil May Care (But I Don't)," "Sometimes We Need The Boogeyman," "Death Is Such An Odd Thing," "Braver Than We Are," "Red Boots Ballet," "Say A Prayer," "Come With Me," "Vampires In Love (Total Eclipse of the Heart)" "Books, Books," "Carpe Noctem," "For Sarah," "Something To Kill (Our Time)," "Death Is Such An Odd Thing" (Reprise), "When Love Is Inside You," "Eternity," "Confession Of A Vampire," "The Ball: The Minuet," "Never Be Enough," "Read My Apocalypse," "Braver Than We Are" (Reprise) and "The Dance Of The Vampires."

Tickets ($30-$95) 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.