A Crimson Kiss — Goodbye: Lestat Closes May 28

News   A Crimson Kiss — Goodbye: Lestat Closes May 28
The Devil's Road has come to an end. The new Elton John-Bernie Taupin musical, Lestat, will close on May 28, a month after it opened at the Palace Theatre on April 25.

Hugh Panaro as the title character in Lestat.
Hugh Panaro as the title character in Lestat.

The inaugural production from Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures will have played 33 previews and 39 regular performances.

"I am privileged to have worked with this amazingly talented company," stated Gregg Maday, executive vice president of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures. "They truly embody what makes Broadway unique and special and why Warner Bros. is thrilled to be part of this community. We have learned a great deal during this process and remain committed to producing exciting projects for the Broadway stage, adapted from our deep, rich library."

The WB library includes "Batman," which has been talked about for a theatrical musical.

The musical about the soul-searching vampire Lestat opened to some of the most blistering reviews of the season. It collected only two Tony Award nominations, for actress Carolee Carmello and costume designer Susan Hilferty.

On May 22, a cast album was recorded. A July release is still expected, a spokesman confirmed. *

Lestat was based on the work of gothic novelist Anne Rice, whose "Vampire Chronicles" are best sellers. Linda Woolverton penned the libretto, Robert Jess Roth directed and Matt West handled musical staging. All three are veterans of the Disney smash, Beauty and the Beast, which began at the Palace Theatre, where Lestat perched.

The creative team was augmented by choreographer Jonathan Butterell (The Light in the Piazza, Fiddler on the Roof), who was brought onto the project after the late 2005 tryout in San Francisco. The show underwent some major surgery following the troubled tryout. In fall 2005, John was quoted as saying that he wrote the score in less than two weeks. In spring 2006, rewrites were implemented to sharpen the work.

The curtain went up on Lestat on Broadway March 25. The first preview coincided with Sir Elton John's 59th birthday.

The San Francisco company remained largely intact for Broadway (with some additions), featuring Hugh Panaro as the title vampire and Carolee Carmello (Mamma Mia!, Parade) as Gabrielle, Drew Sarich as Armand, Jim Stanek as Louis, Roderick Hill as Nicolas, Michael Genet as Marius and Allison Fischer as Claudia. Lestat's cast of 21 features Rachel Coloff, Nikki Renee Daniels, Joseph Dellger, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Sean MacLaughlin, Patrick Mellen, Chris Peluso, Dominque Plaisant, Megan Reinking, Sarah Solie, Amy Sparrow, Will Swenson, Steve Wilson and Tommar Wilson.

Lestat had its world premiere Dec. 17, 2005-Jan. 29 at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco.

Lestat is Elton John's third musical for Broadway following The Lion King and Aida. He also wrote songs for the smash London musical Billy Elliott, which has yet to be announced for a Broadway bow.

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