Back in October 1997, Austrian producer Andrew Braunsberg told the New York Times he was hoping to bring the musical Dance of the Vampires, a hit in Vienna, to Broadway the following season. That never happened, in part because the show's director Roman Polanski, fled the U.S. in 1977, rather than stand trial on a statutory rape charge (a charge that he has, from the start, denied). Little has changed on that score, though the NY Daily News (Feb. 23) and other sources have been reporting that, increasingly, Hollywood notables and executives have been working behind the scenes to convince the Los Angeles District Attorney's office to allow Polanski back into the U.S. If that happens, Braunsberg told the Daily News, he'd like to bring Dance of the Vampires to Broadway by the end of 2000, with Polanski possibly to direct.
Dance of the Vampires, an adaptation of Polanski's 1967 film horror spoof, "The Fearless Vampire Killers," which was originally titled "Dance with the Vampires") has music by Jim Steinman, with book and lyrics by Michael Kunze. It premiered October 1997 at Vienna's 1,215 seat Raimund Theatre and ran through January 2000. Budgeted at $7 million (U.S.), the show won six German IMAGE Awards the following year, including Best Musical, Best Music, Best Book, Best Actor, and Best Featured Actor and Actress. The show is planning to have a run in Stuttgard, Germany, in the near future.
Polanski's last theatre directing stint came in November 1999, when he staged a new Italian production of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus at Piacenza's Teatro Comunale.