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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 May, 2003, 08:06 GMT 09:06 UK
Elton takes vampires to Broadway
Sir Elton John (left) and Bernie Taupin (right)
Sir Elton (left) and Taupin (right) hope to stage the show in 2005

Sir Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin are to create a musical version of the book Interview with the Vampire to take to the Broadway stage.

It will be the first time the pair, who collaborated on many of Sir Elton's hit songs, have worked together on a stage musical.

The production will be based on Anne Rice's 1973 novel Interview with the Vampire plus her books The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned.

Interview with the Vampire was first taken to a wide audience with a hit Hollywood movie starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in 1994.

Taupin said the stage version would not involve "capes and bats or crosses or tap-dancing vampires".

When I read Interview with the Vampire, for the first time, I wanted to become a vampire
Sir Elton John

"This will be dark, sexy and scary, but that doesn't mean it has to be clichéd. This is serious, not a parody," he said.

The lyricist said he first met Rice, 62, in the 1970s to discuss putting her stories to music.

"Anne is very excited and has given us her blessing," he said.

Sir Elton told a press conference: "Bernie and I have been huge fans of Anne Rice's books for a long, long time.

"When I read Interview with the Vampire, for the first time, I wanted to become a vampire."

Sir Elton has already written the music to two hit Broadway shows - Aida and The Lion King.

Full orchestra

The new show, tentatively titled The Vampire Lestat, will be the first stage production made by Warner Bros.

It is expected to reach the stage in 2005.

The star said the music was being written for an orchestra, without any electronic wizardry, to fit in with the story's historical setting.

My main concern is finding people who can sing the songs properly
Sir Elton John

"I didn't see where any modern music could possibly come in without sounding ridiculous," Sir Elton said.

The pair are working with Linda Woolverton, who wrote the stage version of Beauty and the Beast, and director Robert Jess Roth, who was nominated for a Tony award for the same show.

The music, lyrics and story will be finished by September, Sir Elton told reporters, with the first read-through in November.

When asked who could fill the main roles, he said: "My main concern is finding people who can sing the songs properly."

As well as the Interview with the Vampire film, Rice's Queen of the Damned was turned into a successful movie starring late R&B singer Aaliyah.

The last Broadway show to feature vampires was Dance of the Vampires, based on the Roman Polanski movie The Fearless Vampire Killers.

It starred Michael Crawford but closed in January after just 56 performances and lost an estimated $12m (£7.4m).




SEE ALSO:
Sir Elton loses art case
01 May 03  |  Entertainment
Sir Elton heads historic theatre
11 Apr 02  |  Entertainment
Sir Elton's Aida hits Broadway
24 Mar 00  |  Entertainment
Aaliyah film tops US box office
25 Feb 02  |  Entertainment
Poet Stan Rice dies
12 Dec 02  |  Entertainment


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