Roman Polanski began rehearsals Monday, July 21 at Vienna's Raimund Theatre on the new musical Dance Of the Vampires, based on a 1967 spoof he directed and starred in.
This is the first complete musical for which Steinman has composed music. The basis for the musical is the 1967 British film Fearless Vampire Killers, or, Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck, which co-starred the late Sharon Tate.
Polanksi described the film to Playbill On-Line as "a spoof of countless vampire movies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s in America and the 50s and 60s in England." It details how a bumbling duo attempt to destroy a family of vampires.
The film was a boxoffice failure in the U.S. when released by M-G-M in an edited version the director disavowed. Under the title Dance of the Vampires, the film as cut by the director achieved cult status in France, Germany and Austria . Polanski said the musical "has the spirit of the film, with moments of high drama and great fun."
Steve Barton, an American actor/singer from Texas who has an established European career, has the lead. Barton, who until recently starred in Vienna in Beauty and the Beast, is best known to Broadway audiences for his role as the Vicomte Raoul in the original cast of Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart's The Phantom Of the Opera. Barton later played the title role.
According to Rudy Klausnitzer, artistic director and general manager of VBW (Vereinigte Buhnen Wein) or United Stages of Vienna, the musical will open in October in the 1,250-seat Raimund, one of three theatres run by the company.