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Lestat was a Broadway Musical based on The Vampire Chronicles, mainly The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice. The Musical had Music by Elton John with Lyrics by Bernie Taupin and a Libretto by Linda Woolverton. The Musical previewed in San Francisco in 2005 and ran briefly on Broadway in 2006.

Production History

Broadway

The Broadway Bound Musical began life in 2003 as a Workshop version called The Vampire Lestat.

Lestat premièred at the Curran Theatre, San Francisco, California on December 17, 2005 and closed on January 29, 2006, to Positive Audience response and Mixed Critical Reception.

During March/April, Lestat went through a major revision during it's Previews, Elton John added new songs to the Score, the Book was changed deleting several scenes, characters and the SF projections removed, sets and costumes were changed and added a new Choreographer.

Lestat opened on Broadway on the 25th of April at the Palace Theater, to a negative reception, most critics reviewing it felt that it was a dull show that was comparable to natural sleeping drugs and would only appeal for Anne Rice Fans which may have aliened audiences, that it suffered from the edits that had been done during the previews, it had a weak first act and the second didn't go anyway it should of. The Show closed on May the 28th 2006. Anne Rice who was at the opening night stated in interviews that she enjoyed it and wishes to see it again.

Chapel Hill Production

In 2009, an unofficial production of Lestat was performed by an amateur company called Stage Hands Performing Arts at Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was adapted and directed by Sean Pollock. No video exist, but pictures exist on Flickr.

Russian Production

In 2011, an unofficial production of Lestat was preformed, it was done by an all female Theatre Company, the script uses an mixture of elements from both the San Francisco and Broadway productions. Videos exist for both Act 1 and Act 2.

Cast List for Broadway

Lestat Hugh Panaro

Gabrielle Carolee Carmello

Armand Drew Sarich

Louis Jim Stanek

Nicolas Roderick Hill

Marius Michael Genet

Claudia Allison Fischer

Note : Jack Noseworthy was Armand in San Francisco but in the first week he was replaced by Drew Sarich.

Plot

(This is a description of the final Broadway version)

Act 1

Lestat introduces the audience to his history (From the Dead). After years of feeling like the outsider and being loved only by his Mother Gabrielle, Lestat with his close friend Nicolas an Violinist leave for Paris with his Mother's blessing (Beautiful Boy). Lestat and Nicolas do well in Paris with Lestat becoming a Actor and their friendship turns to love (In Paris), However Lestat is captured by Magnus who turns Lestat into a Vampire before committing suicide (The Thirst). Lestat, despite Magnus leaving him a fortune, is dealing with wanting to turn Nicolas (Right Before My Eyes). Meanwhile Gabrielle has come to Paris dying from Tuberculosis, Lestat meets her and she sees that he is a Vampire and asks to be one (Make Me As You Are), it is done and they travel into the night. They meet a vampire named Armand, who leads a group of Satanist vampires. He denounces them as blasphemers, but Lestat reveals to his followers that they do not actually serve the Devil (To Live Like This). So they become a Theatre Company, but Lestat meets Nicolas and turns him. The Theatre first show is about Armand and Marius whose power is stronger than any other Vampire (Morality Play), however Nicolas is catatonic and so Lestat and Gabrielle try to find Marius, believing he could heal Nicolas. 10 years pass and Gabrielle bored of this fruitless search, departs to travel the world (The Crimson Kiss). Nicolas speaks asking to die which Lestat does and as his ashes are scatters, Marius appears.

Act 2

Marius tells Lestat that he could never of healed Nicolas, he tells Lestat of what he needs to do and suggests he finds his own way in America, which he does landing in New Orleans (Welcome to the New World). He meets Louis a self destructive man wanting escape, he takes Lestat's offer and becomes a Vampire, but he regrets it as the years pass (Embrace It). Lestat selfishly turns a child which Louis is horrified but he agrees to adopt the girl Claudia, but she has a stronger need for Blood (I Want More). But as the years pass Claudia ages mental and upset that she is a child forever (I'll Never Have That Chance), she tries to kill him and Louis burns down the house. Later, on a ship, Lestat is wounded and thinks of what his life has become (Sail Me Away) At the Theatre, where Claudia and Louis are hiding Lestat reveals what Claudia has done, Armand and the Coven punished Claudia with death despite Lestat's pleas (To Kill Your Kind).On the Roof of the theatre Louis leaves (Embrace It (Reprise)), Armand mocks Lestat's state and refuses to heal him with his blood (After All This Time). Lestat reveals that Marius regrets turning Armand, he pushes Lestat off the Roof. With both legs broken Lestat prepares to die as soon the Sun will rise, Marius appears and Lestat admits his Selfish flaws but both Marius and Gabrielle convinces him to stand which he does and he drinks from Marius (Finale) Lestat in Modem Dress ends the show reminding the audience he will live forever.

Song List

(Note this is from the Opening Night Playbill)

Act 1

  • 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

Act 2

  • 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
  • Finale

Changes

  • The San Francisco version had more projections and more detained costumes, the projections included Chapter names and text as Lestat begins the Musical typing at a laptop his life story.
  • The music was more Pop sounding in San Francisco but on Broadway it had a more traditional Theatre style.
  • The songs Beautiful Boy and Right before my Eyes were written for Broadway
  • The play shown in Act 1 was originally about explained the legend of King Enkil and Queen Akasha.
  • The In Paris song was extended when the show came to Broadway into an Sequence.
  • From the Dead the Broadway Opening was originally as the San Francisco final number.
  • The show had 2 different endings before the final Broadway ending:
  • In San Francisco, after Armand throws Lestat off the roof, the scene changes to Marius' hideaway, Lestat has recovered from his fall. Lestat admits to Marius that he understands he must be alone forever, so he will never turn another Vampire and never kill the innocent. With that Marius happy that Lestat learned his lesson shows him King Enkil and Queen Akasha whom are like Statures due to their age. Lestat kisses Akasha who allows him to drink from her, as he does he is given higher enlightenment and he can connected to all the Vampires that have ever existed meaning he is never alone. Then the show returns to the present day with Lestat finishing his Memoir.
  • The second ending is the same as the Broadway one but only Marius is there to convince Lestat to stand.
  • To find out more about the San Francisco version click here

Facts

  • This was the only flop of Elton John's Musical Theatre career.
  • The Musical was also the only Theatre collaboration between Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
  • This was the 3rd Vampire Musical on Broadway in the 2000's that failed. The first was Dance of the Vampires in 2002 and Dracula in 2004.
  • Unlike the other 2 mentioned above Lestat has never seen another official production, Dance of the Vampires and Dracula have done well in Europe and Japan.
  • The Palace Theater appears in the Disney Film Enchanted with the Lestat Poster on display.
  • Carolee Camello and Hugh Panaro have starred in 3 different shows, They played Marius and Cosette in Les Miserables, they played Lestat and Gabrielle in Lestat and they played Sweeney Todd and Mrs Loveit in Sweeney Todd.
  • Drew Sarich played the title role in the last week due to Hugh Panaro being ill, Hugh recovered enough to return for the last show.
  • Sarich is the only person to play Lestat, Dracula and Graf von Krolock in Dance of the Vampires.
  • The Poster was reused as a book cover for an Anne Rice Collection containing Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Dammed.

Awards

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2006 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Carolee Carmello Nominated
Best Costume Design of a Musical Susan Hilferty Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Carolee Carmello Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Hugh Panaro Nominated


Image Gallery

Recordings

There is an Official Broadway Cast Recording that was made on the 22nd of May but after the closing on the 28th, Elton John's company has announced it will be left unreleased.

While the show has no official recording there is several bootleg recordings, a whole Audio for the Broadway version has been uploaded to YouTube in parts (Starting Here). Also there is Elton John's Demo recordings online and several Press Recordings as for Radio and TV promotions.

While bootlegs is all that exist, the songs have been covered by singers on YouTube and even in stage revues.

Also there are 3 video recordings of the musical as well as a fan one contain clips of Drew Sarich's in Lestat's role. (find here)

There is the San Francisco version (Click Here), one that was meant to be the Opening Night (but might be a Preview due to the changes in the ending, find here) and one dated May 4th which shows the final version (find here).

Links

http://lestat.darksideoftheglass.com/index2.htm Contains photos of the show and it's Trailers.

http://www.susanhilferty.com/shows/lestat-91/ Contains pictures of the show and costume designs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lestat_(musical)

http://annerice.com/Lestat-TheMusical.html Anne Rice's own view of the show

http://glitterskies.org/lestat/index.php Fan site contain details of the show's San Francisco plot.

https://www.allmusicals.com/l/lestat.htm Contains the Lyrics to the songs.

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