Reviews: Dance of the Vampires

Dance of the Vampires

Financially, Dance of the Vampires got off to a good start, making a profit in its first full week of previews (October 21-27, 2002), but the ongoing critical response of audiences and reviewers varied widely, and the show closed on January 25, 2003 after 61 previews and 56 performances.

René with fellow Vampires cast members (Photo by Raymond McLeod)

René with fellow Vampires cast members (Photo by Raymond McLeod)

Fans of Vampires created a forum to share their love of the show. Many of the links there have expired since the show finished its run, but you can read this Wikipedia article for a complete history and other items of interest.

We gathered an assortment of articles, reviews, and reports about Vampires and have posted links to them here. Click on any of the articles below to learn more about this mega-size Broadway musical.


  • Digital Magic on Broadway, October 17 article about the “enormous capabilities and complexities of stage magic.”
    René backstage in costume as Professor Abronsius, with Ron Orbach (innkeeper Chagal) (Photo by Mandy Gonzalez)

    René backstage in costume as Professor Abronsius, with Ron Orbach (innkeeper Chagal) (Photo by Mandy Gonzalez)

  • Audience member’s review of November 8 preview performance.
  • A November 9 interview, with photos of René getting into make-up.
  • Also on November 8, it was announced that opening night would be postponed until December 9 (instead of November 21 as was originally scheduled) (Original article at no longer available).
  • Ben Brantley’s December 10 NY Times review can only be described as scathing: “The original movie, while hardly top-drawer Polanski, was at least true to its goofy intentions, which brought to mind a post-sexual-liberation answer to Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy….This show, on the other hand, wants to be campy, preachy, lewd and romantically rhapsodic all at once.”
  • The December 10 review by Charles Isherwood provides further comments about the show’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • In his December 10 review, Clive Barnes liked some aspects of the performance but disliked others. Ken Mandelbaum’s December 10 article also provided an interesting analysis of what he disliked about the production. AP drama critic Michael Kuchwara’s December 10 review said, “The humor may be heavy-handed, but you can get some idea of what its trio of authors…wanted to accomplish–goofy, off-the-wall fun. Alas, those high spirits evaporate….” Linda Winer, in her December 10 review, said, “Somewhere, buried in the Broadway death wish that isDance of the Vampires, there beats the pulse of an amusing little goofball Transylvanian satire.” (The original articles are no longer available online.)
  • The author of the December 11 review at seemed to “get” the show better than most of the critics. He said, “Admittedly, it isn’t art, but it isn’t intended to be, either. The creators have only two goals in mind — to entertain, and to wow the audience—both of which they successfully (if not always admirably) achieve.” (Original article no longer online.)
  • Two fans who saw the show on December 13 enjoyed the performance.
  • United Press International’s December 24 review was critical of the show in general, but singles out René for praise: “Handsomely white-bearded, Auberjonois gives his character some heft while never forgetting that the show is essentially a camp put-down of the Dracula legend.” (Original article no longer online.)
  • Sadly, news that the show would close January 25 was reported by the Associated Press on January 15. A closing review comes from UPI on January 24 included the announcement that “there will be no original cast album or national tour of the show.”
  • Reviews and photos from the final weekends.
  • An in-depth overview of how the show was developed – and speculation on why it ultimately didn’t work.
  • An article in Playbill provided the vital statistics for the show’s run.