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Theatre / Tanz der Vampire

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"Sei bereit!"note 

Tanz der Vampire is an Austrian musical with music by Jim Steinman and lyrics by Michael Kunze. It's The Musical of The Fearless Vampire Killers, and has the same general story, but with several alterations. All in all, it's a decidedly more raucous, over-the-top experience than the movie, chock full of Alternative Character Interpretation.

The basic plot features Hunter of Monsters Professor Abronsius and his timid, feeble assistant Alfred arriving in a Transylvanian village straight out of Hammer Horror. Alfred falls in love with the innkeeper's daughter Sarah, and she toys with him a bit before running off to the local castle instead. Of course, said local castle is infested with vampires, lead by Count von Krolock and his Camp Gay son Herbert (who has his own eye on Alfred), and Sarah prepares to become Krolock's new Queen of the Night at a lush vampire ball. Alfred, unaware that she's happier this way, valiantly tries to rescue her (when he's not screaming like a girl). Meanwhile, Sarah's father is turned into a vampire himself, and he goes on to turn Magda, the beautiful and chaste maidservant he's been lusting after for years, into his undead girlfriend.

There was a Broadway version called Dance of the Vampires, but mentioning this is a good way to get hit in the face by fans of the European version. (Indeed, the American producers fired Jim Steinman from the project for protesting their Executive Meddling.) In Europe this show is largely regarded as the exception to the idea that all vampire-themed musicals will fail, which otherwise applies as strongly as it does in America (Frank Wildhorn's Dracula tried to mimic the Tanz formula by having the score rewritten as a rock show and even casting perennial Krolock Thomas Borchert as Dracula. It lasted only a little longer than it did on Broadway).

    Productions so far 
  • Vienna, Austria, 1997: The original production, with the late Steve Barton as Graf von Krolock and Cornelia Zenz as Sarah. It won a few IMAGE Awards (the European equivalent to the Tonys), including Best Actor in a Musical (Steve Barton) and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (Eva Maria Marold as Magda), and featured costumes by Sue Blane of The Rocky Horror Picture Show fame.
  • Stuttgart, Germany, 2000: Responsible for saving the theater that put it on. Originally starred Kevin Tarte as Krolock and Barbara Köhler as Sarah. Introduced a new song, "Stärker als wir sind", that replaced Sarah's dream ballet in the original production.
  • Tallinn, Estonia, 2000 (Vampiiride Tants): A loosely staged concert version, with Jassi Zahharov as Krolock and a then-15-year-old Nele-Liis Vaiksoo as Sarah, in the role that launched her career.
  • New York City, United States, 2002 (Dance of the Vampires): The only English-language production to date was a Broadway disaster, due in part to severe revision which changed the story a lot and turned the humor from darkly funny to slapstick and unfunny (and added to the idea that vampire-themed musicals don't work on Broadway). Starred Michael Crawford as Krolock, Mandy Gonzalez as Sarah, and René Auberjonois as Professor Abronsius. Jim Steinman hated this version.
  • Hamburg, Germany, 2003: Thomas Borchert as Graf von Krolock and Jessica Kessler as Sarah. Both of them are now strongly associated with these roles, Borchert to the point of being typecast (see listings below). The cast of the film version of The Lord of the Rings stopped by in a highly publicized event while they were in town for the German premiere of one of the films in the trilogy, leading to a picture of Borchert in full Krolock makeup and costume with Hammer Dracula Christopher Lee.
  • Warsaw, Poland, 2005 (Taniec Wampirow): Introduced new costumes, sets and orchestrations. Featured Lukasz Dziedzic as Graf von Krolock and Malwina Kusior as Sarah. Also starred a then-nineteen-year-old newcomer named Jakub Wocial as Herbert, who's now one of the biggest rising stars in European musical theater.
  • Tokyo, Japan, 2006 (Vampiru no Dansu): Entirely reconfigured production (restoring Sarah's original dream ballet rather than "Stärker als wir sind," the only production to do so) with Japanese stage legend Yuichiro Yamiguchi as Graf von Krolock and Chichiro Otsuka and Tamaki Kenmoci alternating as Sarah.
  • Berlin, Germany, 2006: Thomas Borchert as Graf von Krolock and Lucy Scherer as Sarah. Also notable for the casting of Deutschland sucht den Superstar (the German equivalent of American Idol) winner Alexander Klaws as Alfred.
  • Budapest, Hungary, 2007 (Vámpírok Bálja): New sets and costumes; still playing. Currently, the role of Krolock alternates between Géza Egyházi and Gábor Bot (and Bálint Merán), while Zsanett Andrádi, Lotty Kovács and Anna Török share the role of Sarah. Máté Kamarás, who understudied Herbert in the original Vienna production, has also alternated in the part in Budapest.
  • 10th Anniversary Concert in Vienna, Austria, 2007: Thomas Borchert as Graf von Krolock and Marjan Shaki as Sarah. Minimal staging using the Polish costumes except for the finale.
  • Oberhausen, Germany, 2008: Kevin Tarte and Jan Ammann alternate playing Graf von Krolock (Tarte's enthusiasm for the role makes it hard to understand why Borchert keeps getting it when he's tired of it). In the spirit of representing many international Tanz productions, Nele-Liis Vaiksoo reprises her career-making role as Sarah, while the alternate Magda and Alfred (Tímea Kecskés and Tibor Héger) hail from the Hungarian cast. Jakub Wocial appears as alternate Herbert.
  • Tokyo, Japan, 2009: Summer revival featuring the original Japanese cast save for a few switchouts (Sylvia Grab replacing Yuko Miyamoto as Magda, for example).
  • Vienna, Austria, 2009: Thomas Borchert as Graf von Krolock, with Marjan Shaki as Sarah, as well as original cast members Gernot Kranner and James Sbano as Abronsius and Chagal respectively and original Hamburg Magda Anna Thorén returning to the show as well.
  • Stuttgart, Germany, 2010: Kevin Tarte and Jan Ammann alternate playing Graf von Krolock, with Lucy Scherer and Sabrina Auer alternating as Sarah. Linda Konrad returns from the Oberhausen production as Magda, joined by a performer who had played Chagal in Hamburg, Berlin and Oberhausen. Overall, many of this production's cast have appeared in at least one production of the show somewhere, which is fitting considering this production began as the result of winning a contest to determine what show would replace Wicked for six months till a new show takes the theater. The production transferred to Berlin in November 2011, with Drew Sarich taking over the role of von Krolock.
  • Antwerp, Belgium, 2010 (Dans der Vampieren): An official cast recording has been released.
  • Seinäjoki, Finland, 2011 (Vampyyrien Tanssi): Premiered in September 2011. The script was translated by Marika Hakola, and the show will star Jyri Lahtinen as von Krolock, Raili Raitala as Sarah, and Ville Salonen as Alfred. The production's Facebook page can be found here. Someone seems to have decided to use the title Dance of the Vampires in the logo (according to fans connected to the show, English is more prevalent in advertising in Finland), but no worries, the production will be the European version.
  • Nitra, Slovakia, 2011 (Ples Upírov): A Slovak student production, similar to the above "non-replica" Finnish production, premiered on May 3, 2011 under the direction of Peter Oravec.
  • St. Petersburg, Russia, 2011 (Бал вампиров, Bal Vampirov for those used to Anglicized spelling): Premiered at the same time the Finnish production did, at the St. Petersburg State Theater of Musical Comedy. This production also has a Facebook page. Starring Ivan Ozhogin as von Krolock, Elena Gazaeva as Sarah, and Georgy Novitsky as Alfred. Ivan Ozhogin later went on to play Von Krolock in the 2013 Berlin production.
  • Paris, France, 2014 (Le Bal des Vampires): This production, directed once again by Polanski, opened in October 2014 at the Théâtre Mogador in Paris. Featuring French comedian/singer Stéphane Métro as von Krolock and Rafaëlle Cohen as Sarah, this was the first European production to meet with largely negative critical notices in the major newspapers, but has by all reports remained an audience favorite.
  • Berlin, Germany, 2016: A triumphant return to the Theater Des Westens which opened April 24, 2016 and transferred to Munich in October 2016. Stars included Mark Seibert (later replaced by Jan Ammann) as Graf von Krolock and Veronica Appeddu as Sarah. This production debuted a scaled-down, tour-ready version of the classic production design utilized in previous Stage Entertainment presentations, presumably created for ease of transfer.
  • Vienna, Austria, 2017: Revival staged at the Ronacher, with Drew Sarich starting the run as von Krolock, then Mark Seibert, then Thomas Borchert (yes, again), followed by Seibert and Sarich each having a second go.
  • St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2017. An all-new version directed by Ulrich Wiggers that, without changing the book or lyrics at all, gives the story a modern-day Setting Update to a post-Soviet health resort on the grounds of the castle, with Sarah as a Goth Nightmare Fetishist in a hurry to grow up and Krolock as a suave blond playboy. This version has its own section on this page below the Broadway adaptation’s tropes.
  • Denmark: Copenhagen, 2020. A Danish non-replica production marketed with the English language title Dance of the Vampires. Staged at Det Ny Teater.

The Oberhausen cast performed a multilingual version of the finale in 2008, giving hints that there may be Italian and Portuguese productions as well in the future. There have been talks afoot about a production in the UK, but producers are reportedly unwilling to touch it for the two-fold reason of a) the show's English title not being changed to something other than Dance of the Vampires, and b) the show's unfortunate Broadway reputation under said title. Rumors of a new English version being in the works ultimately proved to be unfounded at the moment, but this does not preclude later plans.

Fan-projects are abundant with this musical right now. A LiveJournal user is translating the songs from the show into Spanish (here is the Spanish version of "Totale Finsternis") and there are a few tracks existing from Dança dos Vampiros, an amateur Portuguese performance put together by a group of fans. There are also a couple clips from a pre-actual-production Hungarian fan album floating about the Internet. Suggestions have been made for various translations or fan recordings, but nothing other than these have yet come out of it.

Now has a developing Character Sheet.

This play provides examples of:

    In General 
  • Absent-Minded Professor: Abronsius is very easily distracted by books and ignores everything when taking notes.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • In general, Graf von Krolock went from a sharp-dressed but otherwise plain aristocrat to Mr. Fanservice extraordinaire. Getting played by a variety of handsome musical actors certainly helps.
    • In the Seinäjoki non-replica, Koukol is reimagined from the hunchbacked servant from the original into a burly man with an imposing figure.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the original movie, Von Krolock slips in through the window and snatches Sarah to his castle. In the musical, onscreen, Sarah escapes from her family's shetl after the "Das Gebet" number in Act 1, and appears at the castle's portrait gallery at the start of Act 2, during "Totale Finsternis". It is implied and never shown that Sarah journeyed through the woods alone and at night, despite the danger, until she reached Krolock's castle.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Regarded by many as being this to The Fearless Vampire Killers by considerably shortening the long and slow-moving film.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: While the results are still the same as they were in the movie, both, Professor Abronsius and Alfred were given a few more working braincells. Alfred isn't nearly as dense, but simply very shy and insecure. Abronsius himself gets two songs to show off that he is, in fact, very knowledgable.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Sarah is a lot more interested in the undead, Hollywood Atheist Count than she is in Alfred, the quintessential Dogged Nice Guy.
  • All Musicals Are Adaptations: This is The Fearless Vampire Killers: The Musical.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Invoked. Compared to the original film's relentless, almost Satanic antagonist, Graf von Krolock in the musical is a noble, sad Anti-Hero who's compelled to destroy what he loves and longs for in spite of his own guilt over it. Sarah was The Ingenue in the film (being played by Sharon Tate probably helped), but in The Musical, she's an ambitious free spirit longing to be corrupted into something dark and powerful. Alfred's denseness is largely ignored here, replaced purely by timidness and extreme awkwardness. Magda in the film was silly, not particularly confident and she didn't turn into a vampire halfway through the story, while here she's sharp, cynical, and we can also see her vampire form. Finally, while Herbert is purely a threatening, unsettling Sissy Villain in the film, here many actors have grown fond of portraying him being in giddy, infatuated love with Alfred rather than looking only to bang him.
  • And Call Him "George": The more innocent interpretation of Herbert tackling Alfred is him not understanding the sexual nature of his homoerotic advances. Very much dependent on the actors involved.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: And then Alfred was a vampire.
  • Arc Words: "Sei bereit!" ("Be prepared!") The vampire chorus sing it soft and low and eerily at many points throughout the musical. note 
  • Audience Participation: The finale of the show is written with a breakdown and chant echoing Queen's "We Will Rock You", in which the audience is encouraged to join in. Also, Alfred attempts to hide from Herbert in the audience, and many vampires enter or exit that way (sometimes biting audience members in passing).
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Graf Von Krolock simply wanted to bite Sarah at the ball and offer the Professor and Alfred to his brethren, but the trio escaped and took a vampirized Sarah with them, allowing the spread of vampirism. The Vampire Ensemble, then, begins a dance number gloating about their victory and inviting the audience to join them.
  • Baddie Flattery: Three instances:
    • At the start of the segment "Vom der Schloss" ("In Front of the Castle"), Abronsius and Alfred traverse the spectators rows, chasing after Chagal, as the Vampire Ensemble sing from the boxes how positively delighted they are that the ball's guests this year are men of culture.
    • At the very start of Act 2, before "Totale Finsternis", the Vampire Ensemble sing in praise of their newest victim's, Sarah, beauty and youth.
    Glänzende Augen,
    Glänzendes Haar
    Schlaflos vor Neugier
    Und blind für die Gefahr!
    Blutrot / Lippen und Wangen
    Haut weich wie Samt
    Jung, schön und weiblich
    Verderblich und verdammt / Sterblich!note 
    • At the "Tanzsaal" scene, Von Krolock rouses the Vampire Ensemble, then interrupts his speech to... gush about Sarah?! He describes her as "a beauty with the eyes of the night / an enchanting Star-Child / gentle as the wind".
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: While none of the vampires at the ball are named, and some are just in random period costumes, a number of them appear to be historical figures- among them in the German productions are Napoleon and Josephine, Richard III and his queen,William Shakespeare, Queen Christina of Sweden, Louis XIV and Elizabeth I. (And they all get spiffy leather versions of their costumes in the finale, to boot.)
  • Big "NO!": Graf von Krolock gives one of these when confronted by the cross at the ball.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Herbert, Alfred, and Sarah. Or the three women at Chagal's inn: Magda, Rebecca, and Sarah.
  • Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: Magda's white nightgown serves much the same purpose.
  • Boléro Effect: "Ewigkeit" ("Eternity"). (The melody's original title was in fact "Great Boleros of Fire" before it was used here.)
  • Book Ends: Not in the usual ending, however, an alternate ending used by the 2009 Vienna version ends with the Professor wandering around lost, calling for Alfred in exactly the same way Alfred was for him in the beginning. As of the 2017 Vienna revival, however, this seems to be official canon.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: Girl meets vampire. Also, boy meets gay vampire.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Lots.
    • Krolock speaks directly to the audience at the end of "Die unstillbare Gier".
    • Alfred flees from Herbert's advances into the house in "Wenn Liebe in dir ist", running up the aisles then back onstage again.
    • Ensemble members walk down the aisles (then back up) for "Ewigkeit", sometimes pretending to bite people as well. They're also present in the stalls for both act finales.
    • Krolock's actors do the pre-show spiel of no electronic devices allowed, then invites the audience to "sink with [him] into the darkness".
    • Krolock also exits into the house after "Gott ist tot" in the Vienna revival.
  • Break the Cutie: Depends on the actor, but happens a lot with Alfred.
  • Chase Scene: Abronsius and Alfred after Chagal, Koukol after Magda, Herbert after Alfred, Koukol after Sarah and Alfred, wolves after Koukol...
  • Classical Movie Vampire: Count von Krolock and his son are vampires who wear capes and evening dress, live in a Haunted Castle and are Card Carrying Villains.
  • Cold Ham: His excellency, Count von Krolock. As cold as you can be, when you have to sing at the top of your lungs to be understood, anyway.
  • Color-Coded Characters: In the programme to some productions, the characters' names from the "Carpe Noctem" number are given as "White Vampire" and "Black Vampire". The White Vampire is Alfred's persona during his nightmare, clad in mostly white, while the Black Vampire is a Von Krolock-lookalike with black pants.
  • Counterpoint Duet: "Nie Geseh'n".
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: Many of the melodies in the show are rebuilt from little-known (except "Totale Finsternis") songs that not many people other than Jim Steinman's fan base would know to begin with. The entirely new lyrics disqualify it from Jukebox Musical status - most of these melodies are used drastically differently than how they were originally written, or with different implications.
  • Crowd Song: "Knoblauch" and "Ewigkeit" ("Garlic" and "Eternity").
  • Cute Monster Girl: Magda as a vampire, if the actress doesn't go too heavy on the horror makeup. Some of the other female vampires have this going on too - it's very much an individual choice except with Sarah in the end, who is this by default.
  • Damsel in Distress: Inverted: Sarah doesn't want to be saved. Also averted with a side of Fridge Logic by the fact that neither Alfred nor the Professor thinks to protect Magda from Chagal after he's been bitten, even though she's the natural vampirism target after Sarah given that she's apparently the only other attractive young woman in the village. And then when she is attacked, they leave her body behind without so much as a cross to hold her... note 
  • Dance of Romance:
    • During her dream ballet sequence, Sarah imagines herself dancing among vampire couples with Krolock, who kisses her. She then turns the tables on him and gives him a passionate kiss.
    • During the "Wenn Liebe in Dir Ist" sequence, Herbert giddily tells Alfred about the upcoming vampire ball, which will be "gigantisch, / romantisch" ('gigantic, romantic'), and he will enjoy dancing with Alfred. As a "preview", both waltz around Herbert's room in front of the mirror.
  • Dances and Balls: Okay, just look at the title in English, Dance of the Vampires.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • It's highly dependent on the actors' individual choices, but the reprise of "Totale Finsternis" at the ball can be played as one of these- namely, if the actress playing Sarah acts regretful and frightened when she sings that "[she] set out to lose [her] heart and lost [her] mind instead" after being bitten, and if the Graf suddenly seems cold and forceful toward her.
    • The reprise of "He, Ho, Professor" definitely is one of these.
  • The Dead Can Dance: There's dancing throughout the whole thing, but this trope is best served by Carpe Noctem and the Act II finale.
  • Deadly Bath: Sarah settles in for a nice hot bath midway through act I... and then Graf von Krolock swoops in on her from the skylight.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Magda, and occasionally Graf von Krolock.
  • Death Is Such an Odd Thing: The Trope Namer, after a song Magda sings while looking at Chagal's dead body and dealing with mixed feelings about his death.
  • Demoted to Extra: Rebecca (Sarah's mother and Chagal's wife) disappears from the show three-quarters of the way through the first act.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Herbert. Most of the time, anyway.
  • Dirty Old Man: Chagal, in particular with regards to Magda.
  • Distant Duet: When Alfred and Sarah sing "Nie geseh'n" they are both sitting in their beds in two different rooms, separated by a corridor and two heavy doors, one of which is nailed shut to prevent advances on the girl.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Unhappy, dreamy teenager named Sarah is lured into a fantastic, twisted world by a much older and not quite human nobleman who offers to give her everything she desires, but for a terrible price. Hmmmm. (And yes, while Sarah was indeed named Sarah in the film as well, the dynamic in the musical is different enough to make one wonder if this was a conscious Shout-Out.)
    • Obliterating any passing resemblance of the original story to that of The Phantom of the Opera supposedly was Michael Crawford's motivation for insisting on or agreeing to drastic changes for the Broadway version.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: Depending on the actor. In some performances, this is what would have happened to Alfred if the professor hadn't shown up to scare Herbert off. Yet, it's still one of the funniest moments in the show (the Fridge Horror being alleviated by Abronsius whacking Herbert on the butt with his Parasol of Pain and Herbert's comical reaction).
  • Downer Ending: Depending on interpretation, because the last scene (the vampires win and they accept the audience into their fold as the newest undead) is very dark, while the pounding finale number makes that sound rather fun.
  • Dream Ballet: Sarah has one in Act I and Alfred has one in Act II. The difference between the two is that Sarah imagines becoming a vampire as a beautiful, romantic and passionate experience at a ball full of lovers, while Alfred imagines her being tricked and raped while surrounded by rotting corpses. The actual ball ends up closer to Sarah's dream, but the ending is closer to Alfred's (except without the rape, thank goodness, and it's Sarah who brutally attacks and turns Alfred, not the other way around.)
  • Dream Weaver:
    • Krolock says he is this in "Vor dem Schloss":
    Im Traumland der Nacht
    Herrsche ich als Magier
    Der Wunder möglich macht.note 
    • Herbert might be this as well, as "Carpe Noctem" seems to be his doing.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: In hindsight, "Carpe Noctem" becomes this: Alfred has a nightmare wherein he is bitten by the Krolock lookalike, then draws Sarah to be vampirized by Krolock. The sequence finishes with both lookalikes feasting on a dying Sarah. While the order of events is different, it's what happens to both at the end of the musical.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • "Carpe Noctem" ("Seize the Night") clocks in at 9:38.
    • "Die roten Stiefel/Das Gebet" ("The Red Boots/The Prayer"). Sarah's dream sequence song (already a big production number in itself) is quickly followed by first Rebecca praying... then Magda joins her... then it's the two women and Alfred... then the whole village... and then Sarah starts singing counterpoint over it and is herself joined by Graf von Krolock, while the music continues to grow in intensity and bright lights slowly come to point directly at the audience as well as the actors onstage- and more ensemble members stand and sing their parts in the aisles, until it all rises to a climax and the stage goes black except for the kneeling Sarah.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Herbert calls Alfred "mon chéri" as he flirts with him.
  • Evil Eyebrows: Especially in the German productions, all the vampires' makeup includes an exaggerated version of these Sarah and Alfred are the only ones who don't get them after being turned, because the actors only have enough time for a quick change between "Draußen ist Freiheit (Reprise) and "Der Tanz der Vampire".
  • Evil Is Hammy:
    • About the only thing von Krolock and his son have in common. Though the count is more of a Cold Ham while Herbert is an excitable Large Ham.
    • Vampires Alfred and Sarah also gained a Slouch of Villainy and exaggerated movements after they've been turned.
  • Evil Laugh: Most Krolocks are particularly fond of them, especially at the end of Act 1.
  • Evil Wears Black: The Vampire Ensemble change their decayed dresses and outfits from the ball for black leather versions as they have a dance number about their victory.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: Herbert (in some interpretations) is attracted to everything.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Sarah is vampirized, and bites Alfred, making him also part of the vampires. During the closing act, "Der Tanz der Vampire", both are seen in leather gothic versions of their getups from the ball among the vampire group, celebrating their victory with their new companions. However, their presence in the Vampire Ensemble is actually a later addition, since it did not occur in the original Austrian production.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: During "Draußen ist Freiheit (Reprise)", Sarah falls to the ground, and Alfred helps her up. When she turns around again, she suddenly has vampire fangs, which Alfred doesn't notice until she attacks him.
  • Failure Hero: Professor Abronsius and Alfred. Not only they fail in killing any of the vampires, but also end up spreading the vampirism to the rest of the world by dragging a vampirized Sarah out of the castle.
  • Fang Thpeak: One of the things that makes this musical harder for the actors than others is the requirement to sing around big freakin' fake teeth, so extra training is required for actors to overcome this trope. In fact, the actors are so amazing in averting it that TV shows which made them lipsync their songs usually had to deal with a gigantic amount of critique from the audience.
  • Fanservice:
    • To increase the joy of squealing fans upon seeing Herbert attempt to seduce Alfred, a bit of choreography was added in which Herbert grabs Alfred's... buttocks. And grins. Also, for the female-inclined audience, Magda's vampire look was made considerably more revealing when the show moved to Stuttgart.
    • Why do you think the Black Vampire is shirtless in "Carpe Noctem"?
    • Krolock's makeup artists are making him look younger and prettier with each adaptation, to the delight of fans. In Berlin, Mark Seibert as Krolock looks decrepit (the kindest word to say about it is that the character looks older than the actor). In Vienna and St. Petersburg, he looks like a Pretty Boy (St. P more so than Vienna) despite Seibert's traditionally masculine features, to the point where the Krolocks look more like brothers than father-and-son.
  • A Fête Worse than Death: The Midnight Ball, if you happen to be a mortal, and thus on the menu.
  • Final Love Duet: Subverted. In a seemingly triumphant reprise of their duet, "Draussein ist Freiheit", Alfred and Sarah sing about their flight from the castle. A happy ending, at first, until Sarah bites Alfred mid-song.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • This bit from "Für Sarah".
    "Ich hab Kraft, ich hab Mut
    Und was immer ich habe, hab ich nur für Sarah
    Für dich geb ich mein Blut!"
    Translation: "I've got strength, I've got courage
    And whatever I've got, it's for Sarah
    I'd give my blood for you!"
    • Sarah shows her chops at manipulating people into giving her what she wants early on, in the innuendo-laden "Du bist wirklich sehr nett" when she cons Alfred out of a bath. This is no innocent maiden. At most, she's a Guile Hero.
  • Forced Dance Partner: In the number Wenn Liebe in dir ist ("When Love is Inside You"), Herbert, vampire Graf Von Krolock's son, forces Alfred, a human vampire hunter, to dance a waltz with him in his room. Alfred is visibly uncomfortable with this, since Herbert has been openly flirting with him beforehand, to his great discomfort.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You:
    • "Ewigkeit" ("Eternity") ends with the vampires lunging directly at the audience as they walk up through the aisles. Vampires also appear in the stalls during both act finales.
    • Speaking of the second act finale, it's implied the audience have all been turned, and that our world belongs to the vampires (via the lyrics, the fact that every single named character reappears in modern Goth garb, and the backdrop being of a modern city).
  • Glamour Failure: In the "Tanzsaal" scene. In an inversion of a vampire being detected by a reflection in a mirror, it's the humans (Alfred, Abronsius and Sarah) who appear in the mirror, alerting the vampire guests about the intruders.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Averted somewhat, in that while the vampire ballgoers costumes are lush and flamboyant, they're also in varying states of decay.
  • Gratuitous English: Used several times throughout the Japanese production. The most obvious one has to be the chorus of "Carpe Noctem".
    • "We drink your blood and then we eat your soul/Nothing's gonna stop us, let the bad times roll!"
  • Gratuitous Latin: The Latin chant in "Carpe Noctem" ("Seize The Night"), mixed with Greek, translates as follows:
    Day of anger, master / Free me, lord.
    Day of anger, master / Grant me rest, lord.
    All rejoice, master / The sacrificial lamb, lord.
    Day of anger, master / Holy! Holy! Rejoice!
  • Greed: The vampires seem to be an impersonation of this vice. Lampshaded by Count von Krolock in the song "Die Unstillbare Gier" ("The Insatiable Greed") and in "Ewigkeit" by the vampire guests of the Midnight Ball.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: "Sie irren, Professor" ("You're Mistaken, Professor") manages to be this and a Dark Reprise. We give you Professor Abronsius vs. Count von Krolock. Enjoy.
  • Haunted Castle: Von Krolock's castle, whose architecture dates to "the 13th century", in Abronsius's words, is the requisite Gothic castle from a vampire tale. It appears to be mostly empty, save for Krolock, his son and their retainer Koukol. Its graveyard also holds the Vampire Ensemble that gathers once a year to feast on a new victim.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: All of the vampires wear leather, vinyl and lace versions of their previous ball costumes in the finale (except Magda, whose costume is a variation on her tavern wench dress from the first act).
  • Hypocritical Humor: Averted by Chagal with his song "Eine schöne Tochter ist ein Segen" ("A Beautiful Daughter is a Blessing"): He complains about all men being swine while afterwards going on to seduce/harass tavern maid Magda, but he acknowledges that his opinion about men is based on his own behaviour. Amusingly enough, the two men that actually woo his daughter are not interested in only her body which he doesn't admit at any point.
  • The Igor: Koukol, who ups the standard Igor quotient by being not only hunchbacked, but also seems to have a developmental disorder.
  • I Love You, Vampire Son: Graf von Krolock and his son Herbert are a literal example. Herbert is pretty much the only person the Graf loves properly anymore, to the point of basically tossing the hero to Herbert as a present. Awww?
  • Improvised Cross: Alfred and Professor Abronsius make a cross out of candle holders at the titular vampire ball. It works.
  • The Ingenue: Sarah's very existence plays with this trope. Her casting information flat-out calls her "pure and radiant, but wanting to be corrupted". She's very naive in some areas and borders on a temptress in others.
  • Interspecies Romance: ...yeah, pretty obvious. The musical has a Love Dodecahedron between humans (a village girl and a university professor's assistant) and vampires (a vampire count and his son).
  • Ironic Echo:
    • "He ho he [...] Professor" first sung by Alfred, in order to find the Professor, later reprised by the Count in an attempt to taunt the scholar. In the new Vienna ending it is reprised once more, this time by the Professor himself, in order to find Alfred, unaware that his assistant had just been turned into a vampire.
    • The vampires take the Professor's happy predictions of a brave new world at the end and twist them to their own purposes.
    "Our goals are clear, our methods are tried."
  • Irony: Hoo boy. The show ends with Alfred and Abronsius having wrested Sarah from Krolock's clutches, only for Sarah to sprout fangs and make a meal out of Alfred, turning him into a vampire too, while the whole time Abronsius remains blissfully unaware that he didn't just fail to limit the spread of vampirism, he's actually taking a couple of vectors for it out into the world.
  • "I Want" Song: "Die roten Stiefel" ("The Red Boots") for Sarah, and "Die unstillbare Gier" ("The Insatiable Greed") is a terribly dark twist on the trope for Krolock.
  • Kiss of the Vampire:
    • Sarah spends the whole show longing for this.
    • Alfred gets it, if the actor chooses to make the screaming as he's being bitten sound sexual.
    • Vampire bites seem to have this effect even on vampires, per Magda and Chagal's conversation in the coffin before Koukol shuts them up.
  • Leitmotif: Several characters get them:
    • Graf von Krolock has the melody of "Gott ist tot" ("God is dead").
    • Sarah and Herbert share a little three-note downward progression.
    • Magda has "Tot zu sein ist komisch" ("To be dead is strange").
    • Chagal has the melody of "Eine schöne Tochter ist ein Segen" ("A beautiful daughter is a blessing").
  • Light Is Not Good: A belief spoused by the vampires, according to the original German lyrics:
    • In Act 1, in Gott ist tot, Von Krolock laments that they (vampires) "are drawn (closer) to the Sun, but fear the light".
    • In Act 2, during Carpe Noctem, the Nightmare Vampires sing about how "the world, in daytime, has never done any good to anyone."
  • Living Statue: The Danish production replaces the portrait gallery of the original Austrian and Hungarian productions for a statuary during Totale Finsternis (seen here, at 01:46). Even Krolock masquerades as one.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Good luck trying to find one production where Herbert isn't portrayed as one.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Herbert is in love with Alfred, who's in love with Sarah, who's in love with the count, who (possibly) ends the chain by requiting Sarah's interest.
  • Love Interest: Averted, somewhat, in that Sarah's not all that interested in Alfred, and the song that is frequently touted as their "love duet" is actually Sarah complaining about her boredom and planning to leave without telling Alfred where she's going, while he says he loves her.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Krolock's song "Die unstillbare Gier" is essentially a lament over all the lovers he's lost over the years. Except that he turned them all.
  • Meaningful Background Event:
    • The audience sees Chagal wake up as a vampire a while before Magda does.
    • Not to mention Sarah feasting on Alfred's blood in the penultimate scene while Professor Abronsius remains cheerfully convinced that he's saved the world from the undead menace.
  • Mind Control: Krolock, besides being a Dream Weaver as he professed in "Vor dem Schloss", seems to be able to entrance victims.
    • After Krolock was scared off in "Einladung zum Ball", Sarah (Diana Schnierer) remains in the tub, her head lolling from side to side. She doesn't react to the Professor storming in until he physically touches her neck, at which she screams.
    • Alfred's eyes track Krolock's hand movement pretty thoroughly in "Vor dem Schloss". At least one Russian Alfred (Alexander Kazmin) actually sways bodily along with it, and when Krolock makes a rough gesture Alfred snaps out of it with a pretty exaggerated movement, like a puppet with cut strings. He also smiles briefly and distractedly as Krolock sings, "Search with me for the black grail/I'll teach you how to love,".
    • Sarah going limp and closing her eyes in Krolock's arms after he goes in for an attempted bite in "Totale Finsternis" resembles someone "dropping" in hypnosis. Some, like Amélie Dobler, choose to have their eyes flicker and roll into the back of their head in a flavor of Mind-Control Eyes.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: Magda never actually says this, but the look on her face when she catches Alfred staring at her huge tracts of land kind of says it all.
    • Of course, she turns out to be Not So Above It All herself when she spills her cutting board full of turnips just to watch Alfred's behind as he bends over to help her pick them up.
  • Mythology Gag: The one musical detail lifted directly from the film is the little 'ah-ah-ah' melody Sarah and Herbert both like to sing while bathing.
  • New Era Speech: The Professor's fourth-wall-breaking soliloquy in the end of Act II manages to hit all the standard notes- triumph, dismissal of his opponents, and predictions of a glorious future he has made possible ("the world will not be what it was")- and then the vampires enter and make it clear that he was right, a new era is dawning. It's theirs.
  • Nightmare Sequence: The "Carpe Noctem" number is Alfred's nightmare, where the young man is haunted by visions of decayed vampires and Sarah is tormented by a lookalike of Von Krolock.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Alfred realizes that the vampires have human emotions and can feel remorse and pain after witnessing Krolock's graveyard soliloquy.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: While the ball guests are clearly evil and almost zombielike, Krolock is capable of being a perfect gentleman, and there is a touch of sympathetic melancholy about him as well. Herbert, meanwhile, embodies many of the traits associated with seductive female vamps — but he's male.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Professor's and Alfred's disguises at the Midnight Ball. Alfred's consists of a pink coat, a wig and a fan (to hide his face with) he stole from one of the vampires, while the Professor wears the helmet and the upper half of a knight armour he stole from anotehr vampire guest. Their cover is only blown when Herbert realizes they have a reflection.
  • Parasol of Pain: The Professor saves Alfred by fending off Herbert with his umbrella. Yes, it's hilarious.
  • Patter Song: "Wahrheit" ("Truth"), the Professor's big solo. Explicitly patterned on the works of Gilbert and Sullivan.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Sarah's red ballgown.
  • The Professor: Professor Abronsius.
  • Rays from Heaven: "Stärker als wir sind", or "Stronger Than We Are", which is a prayer, uses these. At its climax with virtually all named characters singing the prayer together, rays shine out from behind the stage, glorifying the moment and adding to the religious theme.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Sarah wears two outfits for the entirety of the musical: a white nightgown and the deep red dress. In this regard, she is seen in the nightgown during the 1st part of Act 1, until "Die roten Stiefel", when Krolock gifts her a red shawl and a pair of red velvet boots. As Act 2 begins, during "Totale Finsternis" she wears the red shawl over her white nightgown, and the red boot. Finally, during "Tanzsaal", she is now wearing a deep red dress, and no other colour to contrast it.
  • Running Gag: Alfred forgetting where to place the stake, and the Professor's "Eins! Zwei! Drei!".
  • Screaming Warrior: Alfred attempts to be this with a candle-holder to scare the vampires off. He fails hilariously.
  • Scullery Maid: Magda is Chagal's maid at his family'a shetl.
  • She's Dead, Chagal: Magda's struggling ends and her arms go limp when she dies.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Sarah makes her appearance at the ball in a beautiful, elaborate ballgown, with her hair upswept and adorned with a tiara, at the top of a staircase. Before that point, she is always shown in her nightgown and occasionally with pigtails.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The entire musical is one big STSD story. The Professor and Alfred don't stop the vampires from taking over the world, if anything helping them do it. All the dancing and love duets were in vain, and it's quite depressing.
  • Slouch of Villainy: You can mark the moment when Sarah has fully turned by the way she started slouching against Alfred and making expansive arm movements. Same thing happened with Alfred, too.
  • Spiritual Sequel: The Hungarian musical Drakula, which obviously took a lot of hints from Tanz in terms of choreography and music. But the most obvious homage has to be the changed ending - instead of Jonathan and Mina living happily ever after, they embrace, as a happy reprise plays, only for Mina to reveal her new fangs and bite Jonathan.
  • Staking the Loved One: Rebecca refuses to do this, which means things don't end too well for Magda...
  • Stand-In Portrait: In the opening of Act II, the vampires all masquerade as portraits in the castle when Sarah turns to them. When she looks away, they move and sing.
  • Surreal Horror: "Carpe Noctem", which involves a dance chorus that looks like ancient, decaying corpses, multiple Krolocks, bright flashes of light, spectacularly dissonant and anachronistic music, and Alfred's fear that he himself will be corrupted rendered in literally nightmarish terms.
  • Squee: The actor Máté Kamarás has fangirls. Máté as Herbert has very vocal fangirls.
  • Talent Double: Justified by the fact that the principal actors are still onstage during the Dream Ballets.
  • Tempting Fate: On the battlements of the castle:
    Alfred: Are we safe here, Professor?
    Abronsius: Dead safe.
    Krolock: Hey, ho, hey, how apt, Professor! One bite and it'll all be over!
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Magda and Sarah. Both are plenty feminine, but Magda's a lot more of a no-nonsense tough girl, while Sarah is a plucky dreamer.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: If you arrive in an inn full of garlic where everyone denies that there's a castle in the vicinity of the village...
  • True Love's Kiss: Mocked a bit, in that it's actually Sarah biting Alfred and coming up drooling blood, but the music while this happens is a reprise of their theme played an awful lot like Disney happy ending themes.
  • Twist Ending: After rescuing Sarah from the ball, Alfred holds her in his arms and comforts her, only to discover that he was too late — she's a vampire now, and she turns her fangs on him.
  • Überwald: A bit obvious, though the villagers have officially given up on trying to protect any newcomers to their town and don't even acknowledge the castle, let alone tell people not to go near it.
  • Uncertain Doom: The Professor, when it isn't implied that he got turned too. He is seen proudly walking off in the end, unaware that Sarah and Alfred have been turned and are on the loose. In some endings he realizes Alfred is missing and goes into the blizzard trying to find him, and that's the last we see of him.
  • Undeath Always Ends: Averted to the point of inversion. By the end of the story- in the original European version and its translations, at least- there are only two characters (Rebecca and Professor Abronsius) who aren't vampires in the end, and that's mostly because Rebecca was left behind in the village in mourning and the show ends with Sarah and Alfred leaving Abronsius in the woods. In some productions, even they don't make it out alive.
  • Unwanted Rescue: Sarah doesn't want to be rescued by Alfred — she'd rather stay with Graf von Krolock and become a vampire.
  • Vampires Are Rich: The Von Krolocks live in a castle, wear gorgeous clothing and throw balls. Chagal appears to be the only "commoner" vampire.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Graf von Krolock is the mysterious and seductive vampire lord. Magda is a Carla-Gugino-as-Sally-Jupiter lookalike in sleeveless nightgowns and cinched corsets. Herbert is a tall drink of gorgeous water in tight breeches. And so on.
  • Vampire Bites Suck:
  • Vampire Dance: The climax sequence is named "Tanzsaal" ("Ballroom") and takes place at the von Krolocks' Midnight Ball (Mitternachtsball). In an inversion, the heroes are busted when it's revealed that they are the only dancers to have reflections in the mirror.
  • Vampire Hunter: Professor Abronsius and Alfred go to Transylvania in search of vampires to study and kill, but are terribly incompetent at what they do.
  • Villain Love Song:
    • All of Graf von Krolock's musical interaction with Sarah, seeing as he is the Big Bad and a love interest.
      • Herbert's part in "Wenn Liebe In Dir Ist" can be seen as one of these, in his own special way.
      • Considering what happens to Sarah, her Final Love Duet with Alfred may qualify as this on her side too.
  • The Von Trope Family: Graf von Krolock.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The vampires complain about the boredom of eternal life, saying "there is no torture, just this shitty eternity."
  • With Catlike Tread: Professor Abronsius has the habit of causing a ruckus whenever he attempts to be sneaky. At first it's a mild case with him always stepping on a squeaky floorboard (whilst shushing Alfred for it) when they are trying to sneak down to dead Chagall. The second time it's in the crypt of von Krolock where both he and Alfred are being very noisy when attempting to sneak up on their hosts during daylight to stake them. The Professor takes the cake by shouting 'Meuterei' (mutiny) at the top of his lungs and immedeately shushing Alfred afterwards.
  • You Are Too Late: An interesting case, seeing as the heroes' failure to save Sarah on time is made plain by the "victim" herself, who's now the same kind of monster they intended to save her from, rather than Krolock.

    American production 
  • Accent Adaptation: Michael Crawford's version of Graf Von Krolock gives him something of an Italian accent. In every other adaptation, the character simply talks in the language of the country where that version is produced, e.g., Polish in the Polish version, German in the Austrian/German ones, Japanese in the Japanese ones, etc.
  • Adaptational Badass: Alfred and Abronsius are more heroic this time around: in the original, Von Krolock bites Sarah, then dances with her for a while among the vampire guests, but in the Broadway version, they simply interrupt Krolock, rescue Sarah, and the professor breaks the glass windows of the ballroom to let sunlight in to burn Von Krolock.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The American version hints at a more complex backstory for Von Krolock, aside from his eleven o'clock number:
      • During the "Books, Books" sequence Abronsius wistfully mentions how Krolock was "a scientist, a philosopher, a poet".
      • Just before "The Insatiable Appetite", Abronsius confronts Von Krolock and begs him to spare Sarah, by pleading to the man he was, not the beast he became.
    • The Broadway production also gives Sarah two female friends, Nadia and Zsa Zsa, while in the original her characterization states she feels bored and alone in her father's shetl.
    • The "Einladung zum Ball" number in the original is sung-through, and clocks at around 2:30. Its corresponding version, "Invitation to the Ball (A Good Nightmare Comes Rarely)", has both spoken lines and a sung part, and the whole scene lasts for about 5'30''.
  • Adaptational Karma: At the end of the "Ballroom" scene, Abronsius and Alfred manage to break the glass windows of the ballroom to let sunlight come in and kill Von Krolock. In the original Austrian version, they simply escape the ball with Sarah after they make the improvised cross, although, in the 2005 Hamburg proshot there is a sequence of the castle crumbling down after the humans flee the castle.
  • Adaptational Protagonist: The stage musical is a musical adaptation of Roman Polanski's The Fearless Vampire Killers. The original Vienna production (1997) follows the movie pretty closely, with its focus on Alfred, a young student and assistant to Professor Abronsius in their journey to Central/Eastern Europe in search of vampires. Word of God by its librettist, Michael Kunze, states that the musical is Alfred's story first and foremost. However, when the musical crossed the Atlantic and appeared on Broadway as the failed Dance of the Vampires, its focus shifted away from Alfred to Sarah Chagal, Alfred's explicit Love Interest who was a mere Damsel in Distress in the movie, but gained some character depth in the Vienna production.
  • Adapted Out: In this production's "Seize The Night" number, neither Magda nor Herbert command the Nightmare Vampires.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Rebecca. She has a much bigger part than in the original, including changing Magda's solo "Death Is Such An Odd Thing" into a 50/50 duet with her. She also appears, and gets a reprise, in the second act.
    • Boris, who is Krolock's thrall and servant, is the one to direct the Nightmare Vampires in the "Seize The Night" scene.
  • Badass Longcoat: Unlike the Austrian/Hungarian versions, where the vampires are already in gothified versions of their "Tanzsaal" costumes, in the American version the vampires enter the stage in the finale wearing shades and black trenchcoats, a la Matrix.
  • Baddie Flattery:
    • At the very start of Act 2, before "Vampires In Love (Total Eclipse of the Heart)", the Vampire Ensemble sing in praise of their newest victim's, Sarah, beauty and youth.
    Isn't she pretty?
    Isn't she dear?
    Dauntlessly curious,
    And foolishly sincere!
    See her!
    Skin is like velvet,
    Her lips are so red.
    She's so alive now,
    But soon she will be dead!
    • After Von Krolock introduces Sarah to his brethren at the ball, the Vampire Ensemble sing to the tune of "Gott ist tot", like in the original Austrian production, but the lyrics are different this time. The vampires marvel at Sarah, and refer to her as "[their] queen of the night" and "[their] goddess".
    You're such a beauty, fused with fire and ice
    You must offer yourself as the queen of the night
    It's your choice! / You're so exquisite, you'll be free of the past
    Your future unbounded, your kingdom so vast
    Will you become our goddess and be worshipped at last...?
  • Bat Out of Hell: Krolock (Crawford) manipulates a plastic, toy bat in some scenes. In the second scene, a bat flies into Sarah's room, then Krolock appears in person. The implication is that the bat is Von Krolock.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Played straight on Broadway. Von Krolock bites Sarah and sings a repeat of the last verses of the chorus to "Vampires in Love (Total Eclipse of the Heart)", when Abronsius and Alfred interrupt the Count in the nick of time and take Sarah away from him.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Alfred gives Sarah a big kiss just before "Braver Than We Are".
  • Bondage Is Bad: Herbert announces his intention to spend his night with Alfred with "handcuffs, and wine, and candlelight...". Funny? Sexy? You decide.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Von Krolock wears a small white medal around his neck with the letter "K" on it. Boris, the villager he makes his thrall, wears some sort of a valet/doorman apparel with a large "K" emblazoned on his chest.
  • Commonality Connection: In the opening act, Sarah tells her friends she does not fear the vampires, but the "unliving, cravant souls". After "There's Never Been a Night Like This" and the blood transfusion scene, Alfred mentions the same thing, which causes Sarah to approach the youth.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: The show's failure to change the lyrics from the original songs in many cases is part of what killed it. Compare "God is dead/He will no longer be sought out/We are cursed with eternal life/ It draws us / closer to the sun/But we're afraid of the light" to "I've been looking for an original sin/One with a twist and a bit of a spin...", or perhaps "God has left the building/But we still must live on/Yearning for light, but/Afraid of the sun..."
  • Crossdresser: Supposing that "Madame Von Krolock" is not another character, but instead Giovanni Von Krolock under a female disguise, then the American Count is this.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: Another change for the American version: Sarah introduces herself to Von Krolock as just short of her 18th birthday, three days from now, "on Halloween, at midnight". The vampire convinces her to celebrate her birthday at his castle, unaware of the prophecy that her being vampirized will grant vampires world domination.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Boris (at least until he's transformed into The Renfield) and Magda.
  • Denser and Wackier: A criticism made about American DotV was that the libretto put more emphasis on jokes and puns. Not the original did not have its share of humour, but the humour quotient has been turned up to eleven on Broadway.
  • Deus ex Machina: Having lost their vampire-killing materials, Alfred and the Professor are left to... open a curtain and have sunlight pour in, killing Krolock. At the Midnight Ball? What.
  • Dies Differently In The Adaptation: In a way: In the Austrian version, Chagal goes after Sarah when she runs from the shetl after "Die Roten Stiefel"/"Das Gebet", and is promptly bitten. In the American version, Chagal is found dead before Sarah's dream ballet sequence.
  • Dirty Old Man: After Chagal wakes up as a vampire, he howls to the moon, approaches Magda and humps the side of her body, then moves to do the same to his wife Rebecca, but, upon seeing her, shrugs it off.
  • Disposable Woman: Nadja and Zsa Zsa's only purpose in the show is to get kidnapped in the very first scene.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In a scene, Von Krolock welcomes Alfred with a rather... phallic-looking sponge he intends to gift him. Von Krolock greets Alfred with a happy tone, and holds the sponge upwards. After Alfred refuses the "gift", the Count's voice turns to a sad tone, and he holds the object downwards, in a defeated motion.
  • Double Take: Boris, upon noticing a transformed-Krolock:
    There's a bat in the house.
  • Gasp!: Played for Narmy laughs when the Professor announced his intentions to hunt vampires *GASP!* at the inn. Every time he mentions the word vampire *GASP!*, the villagers can't hide their shock. It's lampshaded when, after a couple rounds of going back and forth, Abronsius refuses to say "vampire"(*GASP!*) where it would normally go in the sentence.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Like a true gentleman, Von Krolock welcomes Sarah to his castle, makes a bow and kisses her hand.
  • Incredibly Long Note: Magda, in the middle of "Death Is Such An Odd Thing". It's lampshaded when she clutches her head, grunting "OW!" In the reprise of the song, Rebecca does the same thing — but longer and much higher.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: The show is infested with bad puns. But the most groan-inducing comes from the Professor.
    Abronsius: (Upon seeing the crypt) This looks pretty cryptic!
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: At the end of their duet "Vampires In Love (Total Eclipse of the Heart)", Sarah sings about "[her] life was simple and bright, [but] now there's only layers of dark."
  • Metalhead: In the "Seize The Night" sequence, during the first guitar solo, one of the Nightmare Vampires, dressed in a monk's habit, starts headbanging to the song.
  • Mood Whiplash: An example of this trope backfiring — the jokester we've seen making really bad puns throughout the whole show, and just seconds before this point, begins singing "The Insatiable Appetite". It undermines what would otherwise be a very Tear Jerking scene.
  • Mr. Exposition: Or Miss Exposition: During the opening act, Sarah says out loud that they are near "the dreaded castle Von Krolock", that "every now and then" a voice calls for her, and that she has dreams where she dances in a "blood red ball" with a blood red gown and blood red velvet boots.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: "Never Ever Seen" is interrupted in the middle by one of the Professor's machines malfunctioning noisily.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Sarah, after sending Alfred away informing him that he's on an Unwanted Rescue. "What have I done? What am I doing?"
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • In the original production von Krolock's first name is never given, here he is named "Giovanni".
    • While in the original the musical happens somewhere in Transylvania, the American version gives a name to their region: Lower Belabartokovich.
  • Ominous Fog: During the start of the "Eternity" number, fog appears in the corners of the stage to set the mood for the sequence.
  • Only Sane Man: Both Boris and Magda see themselves as this. In the end, Magda is probably a little saner.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: During the "Seize The Night" sequence, some gargoyles are seen as ornaments in the bed Alfred and Abronsius share. When the nightmare dance sequence begins, the gargoyle statues come to life and join Boris, the evil monks and the other Nightmare Vampires.
  • Overly Long Gag: The "Sunset!" panic, which would be an Overly Long Gag on its own, but is done twice. It's only beaten out by the villagers' reaction to the word "vampire" *GASP!* Also, see Incredibly Long Note above.
  • Overly Long Name: The Count now has one: Giovanni Congolinni Trovatore Von Krolock.
  • Perspective Flip: One way to interpret the show is that it's a Perspective Flip of the original, showing Sarah's side of the story - why, exactly, she's so interested in the Count.
  • Polyamory: Implied with Chagal: he vampirizes his wife Rebecca and their maidservant Magda, then the trio enter Chagal's large coffin, placing a plaque of "Do Not Disturb" on the outside.
  • Precision F-Strike: Done by the main villain, no less.
    Von Krolock: Boris, why don't you leave those, you fucking idiot?
  • The Prophecy: Another plot change made for the American version. Abronsius expounds on a prophecy that if a virgin named Sarah is willingly bitten at the total eclipse of the moon, then the vampires will rule the Earth.
  • Pun: After "God Has Left the Building", Krolock holds Sarah and she touches his face, commenting that he is "cool". Of course, being a vampire (undead and all), his body temperature isn't warm like a living human's,
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy: The main reason the show was hated so much was that it really didn't have any time to be a musical in the small space left in between jokes.
  • Recycled Lyrics: At least "Vampires In Love (Total Eclipse of the Heart)" and "Dance of the Vampires (Finale)" kept many (though not the entirety) of the original lyrics to their songs, respectively, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Tonight is What it Means to be Young".
  • Right Behind Me:
    Professor: We find ourselves in this infernal castle, not in daylight, but at night. When know...
    Von Krolock (right behind him): Vampire?
    Professor: Vampire will be on the prowl.
  • Running Gag: "This is 1880-something!", "If that means what I think it means..." and "SUNSET!!!"
  • Satellite Love Interest: Sarah to Alfred, about ten times more than in the original. He falls in love with her (and says so, out loud) two seconds after seeing her naked. Sure, that's what is is...
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Unlike the original Tanz der Vampire, in the coda to "Totale Finsternis", the American Count goes in for the kill... er, bite in the final verses of "Vampires In Love (Total Eclipse of the Heart)": Sarah offers her neck willingly and consciously, but Von Krolock simply shouts "NO!", opting to save her for the ball, and abandons her there on the stage, as she finishes the duet on a long note.
  • Show, Don't Tell: The American version has both:
    • In the opening act, Sarah tells her friends a voice calls her name "every now and then". The words appear later in the lyrics to "Vampires in Love (Total Eclipse of the Heart)", at the start of Act 2.
    • Also in the opening act, Sarah says she has dreams where she dances in a "blood red ball" with a blood red gown and blood red boots. This is later shown as part of Sarah's Dream Ballet next to the ending of Act 1.
  • Sinister Minister: The American version of "Seize The Night" does have zombie-like vampires who dance ravingly, but instead of a duo of vampires or Magda/Herbert, some evil-dressed monks are the ones to initiate the nightmare sequence and guide the Nightmare Vampires.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: "Listen...I'm straight. I'm Lutheran. I'm alive. And yet, I do find you strangely attractive..."
  • Vampire Dance: The vampires have more dance sequences this time around: the raving party in the forest in the prologue of Act 1, "Seize The Night", and "Dance of the Vampires" (the ending song).
  • Villainous Crush: "Madame Von Krolock" flirts with Professor Abronsius and says she'll leave the castle's backdoor open for him, since "she" likes "men with big whiskers".
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Michael Crawford reinterprets the Count as Giovanni von Krolock, implying he is of Italian origin. He also applies a sort of Italian accent in some scenes, and tells the Professor in Act 2 he is "from the Sicilian side of the family".
    Sarah: (embraces Von Krolock and touches his face) And that accent...
    Von Krolock (questioningly): Accent...?

    St. Gallen production 
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Several characters are hit with this.
    • Rebecca goes from a warty hag to an adorable, smartly dressed redheaded Big Beautiful Woman in cat-eye glasses.
    • Koukol is a scowling young goth valet with a bunched-up shoulder and a speech impediment instead of a gruesomely deformed hunchback.
    • Abronsius is a normal, even rather good-looking, middle-aged man instead of a aged caricature.
    • Krolock is a conventionally attractive blond aristocrat with a decidedly 1930s style and a short, sleek haircut instead of his hawkish Classical Movie Vampire look and long, ragged gray hair in the replicas.
    • Even Alfred is taller, rather strapping, and generally better-dressed (if a little too maturely rather than too boyishly) than his replica counterpart. He comes off as unaware of how good-looking he is rather than simply cute.
    • The vampire ensemble at the ball look much healthier and more attractive than their replica counterparts and seem to arrive at the ball from their own homes rather than clawing out of graves on the castle grounds. They also lurch around far less.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: While Thomas Borchert has been cast as Krolock at some point in nearly every German-language production since the early 2000s, he has spoken about how delighted he is to get to create an essentially entirely new version of the character from the ground up, and it shows.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The vampires, at least a little more than the original. There’s much less of a suggestion that they take over the world in the end, and individual vampires seem to retain far more of their original personalities than in the replica.
  • Betty and Veronica: Much more emphasized than in the replica version- Krolock, the Veronica, genuinely loves Sarah, the Archie, and his desire to turn her clearly comes from wanting to see her into her full power and have her as his consort, while this version’s smarter and more solidly romantically appealing Alfred, the Betty, wants to share the whole world with her (and unlike in the replica, you can believe that he can give her that). Sarah initially chooses Krolock, but after watching her mother murdered at the ball when she’s brought in with a few other human guests, she flees with Alfred.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Vampires have no visible irises. It’s a subtle way to spot them early on among the resort guests.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The two sweatered and suspendered guys who replace the lumberjacks feigning ignorance as to how Chagal died in the original turn out to be vampires working for Krolock in the end. They bring some of the human guests to the ball to be eaten, though the girl who played the violin at the beginning escapes.
  • Elegant Classical Musician: In tandem with Krolock undergoing a glow-up from the film and previous stage productions, he also plays the piano while courting Sarah during Totale Finsternis (as seen in St. Gallen's trailer).
  • Evil Mentor: Krolock seems to want to bring Sarah into her full potential as a vampire and nurses her through he transformation.
  • Horror Hunger: Sarah biting Alfred in the ending comes off as a result of this, with no Slouch of Villainy as in the replica. Alfred recognizes this and chooses to be turned by her to be with her.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Sarah is the Light, despite being a goth in the making and wears girlish, practical clothing until she’s gifted the boots by Krolock, while Magda is Hell-Bent for Leather, smokes like a chimney, and dresses in tight-fitting leopard print most of the time.
  • Must Have Nicotine: Magda goes to a rooftop of the resort to smoke a cigarrette, and Chagal follows after her to hit on his employee.
  • The Renfield: Not just Koukol this time, but Chagal and Rebecca have been pressed into providing Krolock and his flock with victims from their garlic-cure resort.
  • Setting Update: It’s set in a post-Soviet resort town high in the Carpathians in a vaguely Gotham-esque Retro Universe. Rebecca, Alfred, and many of the resort guests (the stand-ins for the villagers) wear 60s-esque clothes, while Sarah is very modern and beginning to explore her Goth leanings, Magda has a vague Betsey Johnson punk vibe even before she’s turned, and Krolock dresses like a 1930s film star until we see him in his 1600s clothes dating back to when he was turned.
  • Sole Survivor: The pretty violinist staying at the resort in the beginning is also lured to the ball, but escapes when Alfred plunges the ball into chaos with the crosses.
  • They Walk Among Us: Several of the resort guests and staff in the first few scenes are secretly vampires, recruiting for Krolock and keeping an eye on things. They’re only identifiable by their "Uh-Oh" Eyes and the gloves they wear to safely handle touching garlic.
  • Vampire Vannabe: Sarah is obsessed with vampires from the start and actively wants to become one, rather than just reconciling what Krolock offers her with her much more naive fairy-tale dreams like her replica counterpart. She has posters for Twilight and The Vampire Diaries on her bedroom wall (along with one for Marilyn Manson), wears vampire T-shirts, and fantasizes about kicking her father to the curb to join them at what seems to be a goth club instead of dreaming about a grand ball.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Horribly averted relative to the original: Chagal drags an unwilling Rebecca to the ball and bites her. Unlike many other versions that have her show up as a happy vampire in the finale, this plays out as though she’s being murdered, much to her daughter’s horror.

Alternative Title(s): Dance Of The Vampires