Julia Murney and Asa Somers Added to Broadway's Dance of the Vampires

News   Julia Murney and Asa Somers Added to Broadway's Dance of the Vampires
Bit by bit, the cast of the upcoming Broadway musical Dance of the Vampires is coming together.
Julia Murney and Asa Somers.
Julia Murney and Asa Somers.

Bit by bit, the cast of the upcoming Broadway musical Dance of the Vampires is coming together.

Actress Julia Murney and actor Asa Somers are the most recent additions to the cast that includes Michael Crawford, Rene Auberjonois, Max von Essen and Mandy Gonzalez. The show is set to begin previews at the Minskoff Theatre Oct. 14 and open Nov. 21.

Murney was seen last in Off-Broadway's Crimes of the Heart at Second Stage. She is also known for her stage roles in A Class Act, Time and Again and Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party. Murney will play the role of Magda, described in a casting notice as "busty lusty."

Somers is no stranger to the macabre as he made his Broadway debut in The Rocky Horror Show as a Phantom and the understudy to the Narrator. He was also the last Hedwig in the original Off-Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Somers will play Count Von Krolock's "gay vampire son" Herbert.

* Dance director John Rando told Playbill On-Line the show was a "funny scare where you could have a really good time and yet you are spooked." He added that the Broadway production will be "different than it is in Germany. I think the biggest difference is that, in Germany, it's a sung-through piece without any spoken word or just very few. Here in New York, it's going to be a book musical. We've also done a lot of changes in the construction of the play. Jim Steinman has also changed the music in many places."

To view the Playbill On-Line Brief Encounter interview with Rando, click here.


"If you think Broadway musicals suck now — just you wait..."

That tagline ends the online preview of the upcoming Broadway musical spoof with music and lyrics by Jim Steinman (Whistle Down the Wind, the upcoming Batman). The tuner will be helmed by Tony Award winning Urinetown director John Rando. The project will reteam the helmer with choreographer John Carrafa (Urinetown, Into The Woods).

The creative team behind Dance of the Vampires includes David Gallo (scenic design), Ann Hould-Ward (costume design), Richard Ryan (sound), Ken Billington (lighting design), David Lawrence (hair and wigs) and Angelina Avallone (make-up). Musical director will be Patrick Vacariello, orchestrator Steve Margoshes and musical supervision is by Michael Reed. The Broadway run is being produced by David Sonenberg, Andrew Braunsberg, Bob Boyett, USA Ostar Theatricals and Lawrence Horowitz.

As confirmed by a Barlow-Hartman spokesperson — before the cast was even set — the original cast recording of Dance of the Vampires will be released by Interscope Records.

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"), is set "in a Transylvanian graveyard near a village with an unpronounceable name. It is three nights before Halloween, 1880-something," as quoted from the official Jim Steinman website (www.jimsteinman.com). The story follows a professor-vampire killer and his dim assistant in their struggle to save an inn keeper's daughter from becoming "Queen of the Vampires."

The original German Tanz Der Vampire featured book and lyrics by Michael Kunze which were further adapted for the Broadway version by comedic playwright David Ives. The former has translated numerous Broadway musicals into German, as well as penning the book and lyrics for the European tuners Elisabeth and Mozart!. The latter, author of All in the Timing, The Red Address and the upcoming Rando-helmed Polish Joke, is also working on Batman with Steinman.

Dance of the Vampires — under the direction of Polanski and produced by the Stella Company — 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.

Back in October 1997, Austrian producer Andrew Braunsberg told the New York Times he was hoping to bring the spoofy tuner 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 changed on that score, though media sources reported that Hollywood notables and executives were working behind the scenes to convince the Los Angeles District Attorney's office to allow Polanski back into the U.S. Braunsberg told the Daily News in February 2000 that would allow him to bring Dance of the Vampires to Broadway by the end of that year, with Polanski to direct.

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

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