Palace Theatre, (4/25/2006 - 5/28/2006)

First Preview: Mar 25, 2006
Opening Date: Apr 25, 2006
Closing Date: May 28, 2006
Total Previews: 33
Total Performances: 39

Category: Musical, Drama, Thriller, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Nederlander Organization (James M. Nederlander: Chairman; James L. Nederlander: President)

Produced by Warner Bros.Theatre Ventures, Inc.

Book by Linda Woolverton; Music by Elton John; Lyrics by Bernie Taupin; Based on "The Vampire Chronicles" by Anne Rice; Music orchestrated by Steve Margoshes and Guy Babylon; Additional Orchestrations: Bruce Coughlin; Musical Director: Brad Haak; Vocal arrangements by Todd Ellison; Incidental music by Brad Haak; Additional Vocal Arrangements: Brad Haak

Directed by Robert Jess Roth; Musical Staging by Matt West; Associate Director: Sam Scalamoni

Scenic Design by Derek McLane; Costume Design by Susan Hilferty; Lighting Design by Kenneth Posner; Sound Design by Jonathan Deans; Visual Concept Designer: Dave McKean; Hair and Wig Design by Tom Watson; Make-Up Design by Angelina Avallone; Projections Coordinator: Howard Werner; Associate Scenic Design: Bryan Johnson; Associate Lighting Design: Philip Rosenberg; Associate Costume Design: Maiko Matsushima and Nancy Palmatier

General Manager: Alan Wasser Associates and Allan Williams; Company Manager: Mark D. Shacket; Associate Co. Mgr: Maria Mazza; Associate Gen. Mgr: Aaron Lustbader

Production Stage Manager: Bonnie L. Becker; Technical Supervisor: Juniper Street Productions; Stage Manager: J. Philip Bassett

Musical Supervisor: Guy Babylon; Musical Coordinator: John Miller; Conducted by Brad Haak; Associate Conductor: Andy Grobengieser; Keyboard II: Andy Grobengieser; Concert Master: Dale Stuckenbruck; Violin: Natalie Cenovia Cummins and Cecilia Hobbs Gardner; Viola: Maxine Roach; Cello: Stephanie Cummins and Chungsun Kim; Flute/Clarinet: Chuck Wilson; Oboe/English Horn: Lynne Cohen; French Horn: Chris Komer and Brad Gemeinhardt; Trombone/Euphonium: Matthew Ingman; Keyboard I: Jason DeBord; Keyboard III: Jose Simbulan; Guitars: Bruce Uchitel; Bass: Brian Hamm; Drums/Percussion: Dave Ratajczak; Percussion: Thad Wheeler; Music Preparation: Chelsea Music Services, Inc.; Synthesizer Programmer: Guy Babylon

Fight direction by Rick Sordelet; Casting: Jay Binder and Mark Brandon; Press Representative: Barlow-Hartman Public Relations; Marketing: TMG - The Marketing Group; Dance Captain: Sarah Solie; Fight Captain: Steve Wilson; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Photographer: Paul Kolnik; Cover Illustration by Dave McKean

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Opening Night Cast

Carolee CarmelloGabrielle
Allison FischerClaudia
Michael GenetMarius
Roderick HillNicolas
Hugh PanaroLestat
Drew SarichArmand
Jim StanekLouis
Rachel ColoffEnsemble
Nikki Renée DanielsEleni
Joseph DellgerMagnus
Colleen FitzpatrickEnsemble
Patrick MellenEnsemble
Chris PelusoEnsemble
Dominique PlaisantEnsemble
Megan ReinkingBeautiful Woman
Will SwensonMarquis
Tommar WilsonEnsemble

Swings: Sean MacLaughlin, Sarah Solie and Steve Wilson

Standby: Amy Sparrow (Claudia)

Understudies: Rachel Coloff (Gabrielle), Joseph Dellger (Marius), Colleen Fitzpatrick (Gabrielle), Sean MacLaughlin (Armand), Chris Peluso (Louis, Nicolas), Will Swenson (Armand, Lestat), Steve Wilson (Marius) and Tommar Wilson (Louis, Nicolas)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2006 Best Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Carolee Carmello

 2006 Best Costume Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Susan Hilferty

Drama Desk Award

 2006 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Carolee Carmello


music by Elton John; lyrics by Bernie Taupin

From the Dead
Beautiful Boy
In Paris
The Thirst
Right Before My Eyes
Make Me As You Are
To Live Like This
Morality Play
The Crimson Kiss
Welcome to the New World
Embrace It
I Want More
I'll Never Have That Chance
Sail Me Away
To Kill Your Kind
Embrace It (Reprise)
After All This Time
From the Dead


AP: "Lestat a Rather Joyless Affair"

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 Palace Theatre.

Based on "The Vampire Chronicles" of Anne Rice, this lavish show is a rather joyless affair, glum and sober-sided despite yeoman work by a strong cast that throws itself into the musical with gusto.

And getting gusto out of the show's dutiful score - music by Elton John and lyrics by Bernie Taupin - is hard work. John's melodies occasionally tantalize but, for the most part, settle for bombast or indistinct meanderings that quickly evaporate. And Taupin's unsurprising lyrics often are easy to anticipate.

But then, the dialogue is a bit simplistic, too. The characters don't converse. They speak in pronouncements, momentous declarations that take on the tone of official statements from Above, or maybe that should be Below.

Linda Woolverton's book is at least (relatively) clear-headed. Apparently, a lot of work has been done clarifying the plot since the musical tried out in San Francisco last December.

Lestat, played with eager anguish by a game Hugh Panaro, gets turned into a vampire by old Magnus who sees the young man as a worthy heir. One bite, and, boom, Lestat is off and chomping his way through late 18th century France.

He even turns his mother (the lovely Carolee Carmello) into a vampire. Her health is failing and the promise of living forever is too much to resist. She embraces her new life much more wholeheartedly than her reluctant son.

Lestat finds solace in the arms of childhood friend Nicolas (Roderick Hill). Maybe more than solace. The homoerotic quotient in the musical is pretty high as our hero tries to turn his best buddy into a vampire.

Yet Nicolas, it turns out, is "too pure for the Dark Gift. It destroyed his mind," sniffs Lestat's vampire nemesis, the snarling Armand, played by Drew Sarich. So poor Nicolas is consumed in a burst of flames.

By Act 2, it's a new century and Lestat has found his way to New Orleans where he hooks up with the dissolute Louis (Jim Stanek) and a litlle girl (Allison Fischer) he meets wandering the streets. Both friend and child soon join the undead in what has to be Louisiana's most bizarre household: gay parents and the fiercest kid on Broadway since Patty McCormack played the murderous Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed."

Fischer provides the evening's unintentional camp highlight, a petulant ditty called "I Want More," in which she sings about needing blood and not the dolls her proxy same-sex parents present to her as gifts.

Technically, the show is Gothic chic, starting with Derek McLane's dark settings. They are appropriately spooky, using multimedia projections to quickly place the story in a spooky woods, a forbidding chateau and even the New Orleans docks. And whenever a victim gets it in the neck, projections begins to glimmer and glow with psychedelic intensity. The costumes by Susan Hilferty are suitably sumptuous.

Even with an excess of story, director Robert Jess Roth briskly moves things along although Lestat's neurotic musings eventually grow wearisome. Roth and Woolverton worked together on Disney's stage version of "Beauty and the Beast," which at least has a spirited, can-do heroine.

Rice's hero is a model of moralistic dithering throughout his long, never-ending life. At one point, Armand chides Lestat, telling him he is "desperate to be good despite yourself."

And that's perhaps the root of the problem with the show itself. indecision doesn't make for the most compelling of musical theater.


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