Roman Polanski to direct ‘Dance of the Vampires’ musical in Paris

Roman Polanski stands in a coffin as he takes part in a Paris press conference on Monday to present the musical "Le Bal des Vampires."
(Lionel Bonaventure / AFP/Getty Images)

Roman Polanski will direct the stage musical version of his 1967 movie “The Fearless Vampire Killers” in a production that is scheduled to open in October in Paris.

“Dance of the Vampires” (French title: “Le Bal des Vampires”) was first produced in Vienna in 1997 and has already traveled to numerous European cities. This will be the first time that the musical will be produced in Paris, where the 80-year-old Polanski resides.

The original movie told the comic story of a professor and his assistant who infiltrate a castle of vampires. The movie’s cast included Polanski as the assistant and Sharon Tate as a young damsel. Polanski married Tate a year after the movie came out. She was murdered in 1969 by members of the Manson Family.

Polanski attended a press conference in Paris on Monday, where he said he won’t be appearing in the musical, only directing it. Scenes from the musical were performed for journalists, and Polanski also took time to pose for photographers in a mock coffin.


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“I would never have thought that we could bring together so many people for a stress conference -- um, press,” he said, according to reports in the French media. When asked whether he wanted to perform in the show, he replied: “Yes, but there’s too much text to learn, and I don’t know how to sing.”

The Paris production is scheduled to begin Oct. 16 at the Théâtre Mogador.

Polanski directed the musical in its world premiere in Vienna more than 15 years ago. He has directed for the stage a number of times, including Paris productions of “Doubt” and “Hedda Gabler.”

A version of the musical was presented on Broadway in 2002 under the title “Dance of the Vampires.” (Polanksi didn’t direct the New York version, being a fugitive from U.S. authorities.) The production wasn’t a success and closed after less than two months.

Last month, Polanski won a César award -- France’s equivalent of the Oscar -- for directing “Venus in Fur.” The French-language movie, starring his wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, is adapted from the play of the same title by David Ives and is expected to be released in the U.S. later this year.


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