Theatre Dark: Dance of the Vampires Closes on Broadway Jan. 25

By Ernio Hernandez
January 25, 2003

After playing its 56th performance — following 61 previews — Broadway's Dance of the Vampires closes at the Minskoff Theatre Jan. 25. The musical based on the Roman Polanski film, "The Fearless Vampire Killers," opened Dec. 9 to critical disapproval.

Capitalized at $12 million, the tuner began performances Oct. 16 following a brief postponement due to technical issues. The opening was also delayed due to director John Rando's absence as he attended to his ailing mother.

There are no plans for a Broadway cast recording, tour or regional productions at present, a spokesperson confirmed.

Tony Award winner John Rando (Urinetown) directed and John Carrafa (Urinetown, Into The Woods) choreographed the musical scored by Jim Steinman with a book by David Ives, Steinman and Michael Kunze (who is also credited with the original German book and lyrics).

Dance of the Vampires marked Michael Crawford's first return to Broadway since starring in The Phantom of the Opera. Rene Auberjonois (City of Angels), Mandy Gonzalez, Max von Essen, Ron Orbach, Asa Somers, Liz McCartney, Leah Hocking and Mark Price also lead the cast of the show.

The Vampires ensemble included David Benoit, E. Alyssa Claar, Lindsay Dunn, Jocelyn Dowling, Jennie Ford, 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 served as the standby for Crawford and Auberjonois.

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."

Flying ballet dream sequences, naughty jokes, references to Meatloaf lyrics, special effects, enormous sets, sponges, garlic, graveyards, plenty of fog and dancing filled 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.

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," and Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back To Me Now." The Vampires songlist included "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," "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," "Death Is Such An Odd Thing" (Reprise), "When Love Is Inside You," "Eternity," "Confession Of A Vampire," "The Ball: The Minuet," "Never Be Enough," "Come With Me (Reprise)," "Braver Than We Are" (Reprise) and "The Dance Of The Vampires."

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 was 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.

For more information on Dance of the Vampires, visit the show's website at www.danceofthevampires.com.