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Tag Archives: Tanz der Vampire

While the musical genre may be viewed be some as a niche, the vampire musical is even more narrowly defined even still. Although they deal with many issues that the vampire represents (i.e. sexuality, cultural consciousness, etc.), these musicals also add another layer that movies and books cannot necessarily fulfill because music touches us in ways that printed words or visuals cannot. So my aim here is to introduce you all to a few musicals that have vampires in them and revolve around these creatures of the night.

The first one I want to introduce is Dracula the Musical music by Frank Wildhorn and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton. A take off on Bram Stoker’s Dracula (obviously), the story plays the love story angle up between Mina and Dracula to a degree but ends in much the same way as the novel. While an American version did head into production on Broadway, it was never as successful as its German counterpart. The song I’m giving you a taste of comes from the most recent German revival wherein they overhauled several songs and added six new ones. “Zu Ende” (roughly “It’s Over” in English) is when the confrontation between Dracula and the merry band of vampire hunters takes place. Performed by Uwe Kroger and Thomas Borchert, the song illustrates the battle over the soul of Mina and ultimately what Dracula’s conquering of her would be if he actually succeeded.

The second musical is based on Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers; Or Pardon Me but Your Teeth are in My Neck. If you’re familiar with the film, the musical follows pretty much the same trajectory. Alfred and the Professor are looking for vampires and find them when one absconds with Sarah a girl from a village Alfred and the Professor find themselves in. They go after her and hilarity / horror ensues. Tanz der Vampire (Dance of the Vampire) deals with all this in music and stays true to the source material, partially because Polanski directed the original German production. With the music of Jim Steinman (think 80s power ballads) and lyrics of Micheal Kunze, it’s an 80s-tastic romp through ballads of Bonnie Tyler, Meatloaf, and others. In the following song “Unstillbare Gier” (“Insatiable Greed” / “Insatiable Appetite”) Steve Barton as Graf Von Krolock has an existential crisis about being a vampire with an endless appetite and his ultimate decision to be what his is at any cost.

The final one is from a musical that has never been produced but has been born from the mind of Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. In his Dracula puppet musical, we have a confrontation between Dracula and Van Helsing at the end and hilarity happens. If you haven’t watched the movie, you should… it’s hilarious, but warning, you will see penis if you watch the movie. Here is “Dracula’s Lament.”

Hopefully, you will enjoy these musicals / musical numbers about and starring vampires. I know that I enjoy them.