After two months of rehearsals and five previews, Roman Polanski's Tanz der Vampire (Dance of the Vampires) opened at Vienna's Raimund Theater Oct. 4. And the critics liked what they saw, with Austria's leading papers ("Kronen-Zeitung, "KURIER") both predicting that the show may become a world hit.
Unanimous praise for William Dudley's scenery, Hugh Vanstone's lighting design as well as Sue Blair's costumes. Among the performers, Steve Barton as Count Von Krolock and Gernot Kranner as Professor Abronsius were singled out.
Jim Steinman's music met mostly with praise, too, although some of the critics carped about the recycling of his 1980's-hit Total Eclipse Of The Heart . Michael Kunze's lyrics came under fire more often, although both "Kronen-Zeitung" and "KURIER" conceded that the songs might work better in English.
Among those present at opening night: US-music publisher Johnny Bienstock and Gene Gutowski who produced the movie version of Dance of the Vampires in 1967. Broadway-producers Barry and Fran Weissler cancelled their coming at the last minute.
The good reviews may further boost the already impressive advance sales. Ulli Stepan, spokes person of the "Vereinigte Buehnen Wien" ("United Stages of Vienna"): "The 100.000th ticket will be sold very soon." Performances: Tue. - Sat. 7.30 PM, Sun. 6.00 PM. Tickets: WIEN-TICKET Tel: +43-1-58885, Vienna Ticket Service Tel:+43-1-534 17 75, Fax: +43-1-534 17 26.