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TANZ DER VAMPIRE returns to Vienna

12 years after it premiered at RAIMUND THEATER, the new Vienna version of Roman Polanski’s cult musical TANZ DER VAMPIRE has finally returned to Vienna and will be playing at the RONACHER from September 17, 2009.

On October 4, 1997, the curtain of the RAIMUND THEATER rose for the first time on a musical that enjoyed a true boom and quickly gained cult status: TANZ DER VAMPIRE, a musical by Michael Kunze (script) and Jim Steinman (music) had its world premiere. Set in Transylvania, the biting, scary musical adaptation of Roman Polanski’s film classic was brilliantly directed by the master himself and it attracted over 805,000 enthusiastic visitors at Vienna’s Raimund Theater alone where it played until January 2000.

The show that started in Vienna soon won the hearts of audiences around the world: By now, the adventures of vampire hunter Professor Abronsius and his assistant Alfred in the dark and gloomy world of Count von Krolock have drawn an audience of 4.8 million in Germany (Stuttgart, Hamburg, Berlin, Oberhausen), Estonia (Tallinn), the US (New York, Broadway – albeit in a different version), Poland (Warsaw), Hungary (Budapest), and Japan (Tokyo). One further production in Belgium (Antwerp) is slated to premiere by the end of this year.

In February 2007, VEREINIGTEN BÜHNEN WIEN marked its tenth anniversary and thanked its loyal Viennese audience by producing a concert version of TANZ DER VAMPIRE. It was a resounding success and showed just how much fans longed for a revival of the show.

Enriched by the experience gained on its long journey around the globe, this production has now returned to Vienna: The 2009 Vienna version was directed by Cornelius Baltus and in the third millennium, it once more invites its audience to dance along to rock ballads, opulent costumes, a lavish stage design, and a unique mix of tender romance, straightforward sensuality, offbeat comedy, and deep tragedy.

cast and leading team

Thomas Weissengruber (Koukol), Marc Liebisch ( Herbert), Anna Thorén (Magda), Gernot Kranner (Professor Abronsius), Thomas Borchert (Graf Krolock), Lukas Perman (Alfred), Marjan Shaki (Sarah) (© VBW/Alexander Ch. Wulz)
Thomas Weissengruber (Koukol), Marc Liebisch ( Herbert), Anna Thorén (Magda), Gernot Kranner (Professor Abronsius), Thomas Borchert (Graf Krolock), Lukas Perman (Alfred), Marjan Shaki (Sarah) (© VBW/Alexander Ch. Wulz)

With his original production of TANZ DER VAMPIRE, Roman Polanski created a true masterpiece. The 2009 Vienna version was directed by his fellow-traveller of many years, Cornelius Baltus, who had previously been in charge of this production six times. The lavish sets and costumes seen at the premiere – costumes by Sue Blane, stage design by Wiliam Dudley – strongly influenced the style of subsequent productions. Internationally acclaimed Hungarian set and costume designer Kentaur is responsible for the new Vienna version. This versatile artist – he has also made a name for himself as a painter, performer, and musician – is known for his fantastic imagery. As in 1997, Dennis Callahan (Associate Choreographer: Doris Marlis) will perform rousing and brilliant dance sequences. Internationally renowned Briton Hugh Vanstone developed the light design (with support from Frank Sobotta) and Matthias Reithofer has made sure the sound is perfect. Musical direction is in the experienced hands of Caspar Richter; Michael Reed is the production’s Music Supervisor.

The audience's darling, Thomas Borchert, returns to Vienna in the lead role of Count von Krolock. He’s a many-facetted artist who has charmed Viennese audiences, among others, with his appearances in ELISABATH and MOZART! and as a powerfully voiced JEKYLL & HYDE. His fans are now looking forward to seeing him play what is probably the most famous musical Vampire in the German-speaking world. Already in 2007, he starred in the concert version of TANZ DER VAMPIRE at the RAIMUND THEATER – along with his charming colleague Marjan Shaki who played Sarah. She took the hearts of Viennese audiences by storm when she starred in WAKE UP in 2002 and, most likely, she was the ideal cast for Julia in ROMEO & JULIA. After numerous engagements abroad, her „Romeo“, Lukas Perman – who convincingly performed in „Crown Prince Rudolf“ and ELISABETH at Theater an der Wien – will slip into the role of Alfred as he has already done in the concert version of TANZ DER VAMPIRE in 2007. Since the first night, Gernot Kranner aka Professor Abronsius has embarked on a hunt for vampires over 650 times now. His unique wittiness is sure to send waves of laughter through the RONACHER’s audience. Broadway actor James Sbano will act the part of Jewish innkeeper Chagal, which he created for the original premiere in Vienna. As in Hamburg, Magda, the sensual maid, will be played by Swede Anna Thorén, who certainly is every bit a woman. Arguably the most popular figure, gay vampire Herbert, is played by newcomer Marc Liebisch; hilariously funny Katharina Dorian is Rebecca and Viennese Thomas Weissengruber plays Krolock’s hunchbacked servant Koukol.