vampire curse has now struck Sir Elton John and Anne Rice.
The elaborate and often homoerotic musical
Lestat, based on Rice's novels, including
Interview With the Vampire, will close on May
28, just a month after it officially opened at the Palace
Theatre, Playbill.com reported Tuesday.
With music by
John, lyrics by his longtime collaborator, Bernie Taupin,
and a libretto by Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the
Beast), the show had a tryout in San Francisco in
late 2005 and early 2006. That initial U.S. production
included most of the Broadway cast, including Hugh
Panaro in the flamboyant title role.
A scheduled early
April Broadway opening was pushed back to April 25
after the show took a critical drubbing on the West Coast. A
new choreographer, Jonathan Butterell (The Light in
the Piazza, Fiddler on the Roof) was hired
after the San Francisco run.
When it closes,
Lestat will have racked up just 33 preview
performances (before opening night) and 39 regular
performances. The first preview performance of the
show was March 25--John's 59th birthday.
reported that the "musical about the soul-searching
vampire Lestat opened to some of the most blistering reviews
of the season. It collected only two Tony award
nominations, for actress Carolee Carmello and costume
designer Susan Hilferty."
A typical review,
by the Associated Press, began, "To bite or not to
bite? What's a conflicted vampire with severe identity
issues to do? That seems to be the question haunting
the troubled title character in Lestat, the
morose new musical that opened Tuesday at Broadway's
Lestat is the third vampire Broadway musical flop of
the decade. Dance of the Vampires, constructed
around the over-the-top songs of Meat Loaf
collaborator Jim Steinman, flopped quickly in 2002. Two
years later, Broadway horror musical stalwart Frank Wildhorn
(Jekyll & Hyde) brought his Bram Stoker
adaptation, Dracula, to the Great White Way, to
equally disastrous results.
John is now two
for three on Broadway, having had hits with previous
shows The Lion King and Aida. Lestat was his
first Broadway show to include prominent gay themes,
but it's not his last: His next stage show, the London
smash Billy Elliot, based on the gay-inclusive
movie of the same title, is expected in New York during the
next season, but no dates have yet been announced.