Tanz der Vampire is one of the most popular german musicals of recent times. The musical is based on a Roman Polanski film, "The Fearless Vampire Killers", which was titled in the german dubbing "Tanz der Vampire" - "Dance of the Vampires". The musical premiered in Vienna in 1997 (of which there is a near-complete double CD available, Steve Barton as the lead role Graf Von Krolock. It is to DIE for!) and has since played in various locations in germany, including Stuttgart and Hamburg.
In April 2004, I went on a family holiday to Germany, and we saw Tanz in Hamburg. It was AMAZING. I so want this show to come to london, the music is fantastic- I've not mentioned it yet, but the music is all by Jim Steinman, and includes a few already famous songs and melodies, notable "Total Eclipse of the Heart", which was originally written for a musical about Vampires that got shelved and the song recycled into the big hit everyone knows it as. But in the musical it is in its original setting, more or less.
"Dance of the Vampires" opened on Broadway late 2002, with Michael Crawford in the lead role. Originally Steve Barton was to have played Von Krolock in the english language cversion, and there are some demos around of him singing the english translations, but following his illness and tragic death, Steve Barton was replaced by Michael Crawford. Crawford initially seemed like very good casting- the role of Von Krolock is similar in many respects to the Phantom of the Opera, the role Crawford originated in 1986. However, after contracts were signed, Crawford insisted he was not going to play another character like the Phantom, as he didn't wish to be a caricature of himself. That's fair enough, but rather than take the obvious route and find a more appropriate actor, the producers allowed Crawford to completely re-write his part to suit himself! The Broadway show was completely unlike the german production. Jim Steinman himself left the project, and has been quoted as saying that his musical is running in germany, he did not recognise the broadway production as his show.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you see it, the broadway production died quickly- it was a flop of epic proportions. However, this does mean the chances of us seeing the full production staged in london are minimal. It's such a shame, as Tanz der Vampire is a wonderful show, it has drama, comedy, romance, great music, costumes, sets, plot. It has everything a great musical needs to be a success, as it has proved in germany. WHY can't we have it in london???
Anyway, enough of me ranting. Want some pretty pictures? Hamburg Brochure photos.