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Dance of the Vampires - Paris Production

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Elfuhbuh
Featured Actor
joined:3/23/14
Just saw the video posted on this website with the two French leads singing Total Eclipse of the Heart, and so far it seems promising. Let's just hope this one won't be a disaster like the Broadway version. And hey, who knows; maybe a successful Paris run will convince them to give the show another shot at an English-language production in London!


Paris Cast of New DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES Perform 'Total Eclipse of the Heart'
Updated On: 4/30/14 at 01:22 AM
SparklyPinkVest
Swing
joined:4/30/14
Hey there !

I'm French, and I have a bad feeling about this show... Obviously Dance of the Vampires is a really great musical... But in France, we don't have the same feeling about musicals than in UK or US... I mean, some people like me are truly passionate, but the most part don't know anything about that world.

All the musicals we do are the same.. Imagine. They made Dracula, Romeo and Juliette, Robin Hood.... They all had the same costumes, and same kind of song. No originality.

So let's hope it will be great, but I have a little doubt.
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g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Based on the promo clip of the French version of "Total Eclipse," I don't have high hopes that they have the right guy in the lead. His voice sounds more pop than I'm used to in the role.

That said, I also understand the necessities of producing. As SparklyPinkVest said, the French theater scene is not the same as the UK or the US. People don't turn out in droves for musicals, and when one is a successful fluke, they produce a barrage of the same type of material. (If Le Bal des Vampires is somehow a success, I expect a lot of musicals with Eighties pop scores and a Gothic sensibility to sprout wings all over Paris.) The gentleman playing what the US unfortunately knows as the Crawford role is Dumè, a French pop singer/songwriter and (apparently) actor. As with stunt casting over here, this is designed to put butts in seats. It's a smart choice business-wise; artistically, that remains to be seen.

But I'm giving the guy a shot, especially with Polanski returning to the director's chair on this one rather than letting his deputy, so to speak, stage it, as in a few past European productions. And I've sat in on an audition or two in my time that was horrible until I asked them to read for another part, or I saw raw talent there that got molded with further rehearsal. So I'm cautiously optimistic.
Formerly gvendo2005
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Updated On: 4/30/14 at 08:10 AM
SparklyPinkVest
Swing
joined:4/30/14
g.d.e.l.g.i , you said that "If Le Bal des Vampires is somehow a success, I expect a lot of musicals with Eighties pop scores and a Gothic sensibility to sprout wings all over Paris", but it is already done ! Sadly... Look at this video. It is Dracula... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1O8upda0oY
Moreover, there is only one or two big musical director in France. He made Dracula. An other made Romeo & Juliet (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIx7z7J6uew). Based on the voices and the costumes, for me, they are made in the same way.

Don't forget that in France, there is no way to study theater art (maybe one school, and it is an american one). So on stage you can find just "a guy with a nice voice". I guarantee that if you bring the guy who played Dracula to Broadway, he won't get any audition. I seem mean, but it is sadly true.
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g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Well, it's enjoyed some success in Europe, so I just hope that Paris does as well as can be expected for that market.
Formerly gvendo2005
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SparklyPinkVest
Swing
joined:4/30/14
Yes. But what I mean is that people don't go watch it to laugh, cry, admire the technic, the voice, the dancers, or to see something beautiful. They go before the man is handsome and to listen music..
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Mr Roxy
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joined:5/17/03
Would love to see Hollande do the Orlock role.

Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
SparklyPinkVest
Swing
joined:4/30/14
hahaha nice !
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JRybka
Broadway Legend
joined:11/6/06
I thought the music and voices where nice. I would go see them. Then again, I love the big lush bombastic musicals. Notre Dame De Paris was one of my all time favorites. And we forget that one of the most beloved musicals of ALL TIME... Les Miserables was originally French. I just wish i could get my hands on a copy of the Dance of the Vampires. I have always wanted to see it. I have the music and the demo of the English version but never have seen it (except on the youtube)
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
SparklyPinkVest
Swing
joined:4/30/14
I agree for Les Mis and Notre Dame, but it was not at the same period
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Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
I actually really enjoy their voices even though his voice isn't as dark and rich as previous Krolocks. I saw Tanz der Vampire in Berlin and it remains one of my all-time favorite musical theatre experiences. If Paris uses the original staging and script (as nearly every production in Europe does), I don't see how it won't be a hit. But if they try to turn the show into something entirely different, as what happened on Broadway, expect to be disappointed.

I did see Notre Dame de Paris in London and feel asleep in the second act. A couple of decent songs, but everything else just looked like a horrible mess. I've seen videos of numerous other French musicals (Les Enfants du Soleil, Autant en Emporte le Vent, Tintin: Le Temple du Soleil, Le Mille et Une Vies D'Ali Baba, Romeo et Juliette). I enjoyed Al Baba and Tintin, but the others were rather dull.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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Elfuhbuh
Featured Actor
joined:3/23/14
I like Dumè's voice, having listened to him in this video. He seems like he will at least be competent in the role (at least, he sounds better than Crawford did so far). I understand concerns regarding the production, but I personally wouldn't be too worried; I don't think Polanski will let another disaster happen since he's in charge of this one.
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CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
What about IRMA LA DOUCE?
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
I wish Polanski would stage the show on London so we might get an English language cast recording. I doubt we'll be seeing the show again in America any time soon.
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Mattbrain
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joined:11/23/05
"I wish Polanski would stage the show on London so we might get an English language cast recording."

This!
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Elfuhbuh
Featured Actor
joined:3/23/14
Honestly, I'm wondering why they haven't just gone ahead and tried it out in London already. The show has so much buzz in other parts of Europe; any bad reputation the Broadway production has will probably be almost completely overshadowed by the other productions' success, so it's not like the memory of Michael Crawford's Count von Krolock would have the British cringing away from the idea of seeing "Dance of the Vampires."
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
I actually have a soft spot for the score of the French Romeo and Juliet (so much that I spent years tracking down the AWFUL Don Black translated UK flop version's cd). I enjoyed it a lot in Montreal, though it's obviously a very "french" style musical.

Vampires is one of those European shows that strikes me like it would sorta work in France, actually....
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g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Honestly, I'm wondering why they haven't just gone ahead and tried it out in London already. The show has so much buzz in other parts of Europe; any bad reputation the Broadway production has will probably be almost completely overshadowed by the other productions' success, so it's not like the memory of Michael Crawford's Count von Krolock would have the British cringing away from the idea of seeing "Dance of the Vampires."

Actually, that's not true. The memory of the Broadway production is pretty much the reason it hasn't gone up in London. Michael Kunze said as much in a 2009 interview here at BroadwayWorld:

Is there any hope of seeing a West End production of Tanz der Vampire which is true to the original?
I think, at the moment, there is not such a chance to do it. We always discuss it a lot, but I don’t have to explain to you that the influence of Broadway is stronger on the West End than on continental Europe, and we (the European productions) were not hurt at all by the Broadway failure of that version of Tanz der Vampire, but you have to keep the title and it is not a good start for a show if it had such a Broadway history. I think you need very daring producers to do that, and even if you tell people it’s a completely different show, I doubt if someone would do that at the moment.

Full interview here.
Formerly gvendo2005
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g.d.e.l.g.i.
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That said, there are signs that they are still trying, for example the description of...

...this YouTube video.
Formerly gvendo2005
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Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
Elfuhbuh Profile Photo
Elfuhbuh
Featured Actor
joined:3/23/14
So Dumè is no longer set to be in this production.






Dumè suffers a back injury.
Updated On: 9/2/14 at 09:35 PM
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g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
No great loss, and they've replaced him with another French star, so all's well that ends well.
Formerly gvendo2005
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Elfuhbuh
Featured Actor
joined:3/23/14
I'm interested to see how this new guy will sound as Krolock. I wonder if they'll release another video of Rafaelle Cohen singing Total Eclipse of the Heart with him.
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JRybka
Broadway Legend
joined:11/6/06
If he needs someone to take care of him he can fly here.
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
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Eurotrash
Understudy
joined:8/28/13
Saw it on Saturday and enjoyed it immensely. I'd imagine it was very similar to the German version, as the sets looked exactly the same. All five leads belted out their numbers faultlessly and thrillingly, and there was a standing ovation at the end. I really don't see why this show would flop in London, other than there might be issues with sticking to the original English in some of the songs. The 'Grimms fairly tale' style of it in mixing the comic with the macabre is clearly very German, but might not be so alien to British audiences as proved the case in the US. But when I think of what does make it a major west end stage, I don't know.
Why don't you go? Why don't you leave Manderley? He doesn't need you... he's got his memories. He doesn't love you, he wants to be alone again with her. You've nothing to stay for. You've nothing to live for really, have you?
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g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
It's very similar production-wise. A few further cuts were made to the score than have been in the past few years (for example, the tail end of the Count's big second act aria) because of linguistic issues in translating from German to French.

I think a UK audience would be the ideal crowd, and I'd love to explore that production possibility myself. Who knows what may happen one day?
Formerly gvendo2005
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joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
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Elfuhbuh
Featured Actor
joined:3/23/14
^^^

You saw it? Ugh, I'm so jealous!

Either way, yes, I believe they went replica with this production, as Roman Polanski was directing. I do agree with you about it being able to do well in the West End; if need be, they could always just transfer the sets and costumes from Paris over to London to save up on some of the costs. I think that, if they are willing to take risks and if they do the RIGHT job this time, the show could receive very good word of mouth as a West End production and succeed; all they would need to do is market the show as "EUROPE'S HIT BLOCKBUSTER MUSICAL" and not reference the Broadway production at all. (It wasn't that American audiences didn't get the "Grimm Fairy Tale" aspect, it's that the Broadway production completely removed these themes and tried to Americanize the humor overall, which proved to be a horrible idea from the start.)

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