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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowline.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail.
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---Mark Twain


Tanz Der Vampire (Das Musical)


Tanz Der Vampire is playing in Berlin at Stage Theater Des Westens in Charlottenburg. I'm not big on musicals but three things finally peaked my curiosity for wanting to see this show:

  1. A buddy performs in it
  2. It's a musical remake of Roman Polanski's film, Dance of the Vampires
  3. It's the most successful German-language music -- ever 
The show was really, really entertaining and funny (and, thankfully, owing to the German lyrics none of the songs were stuck in my head afterward). During the first half, I admit, I had my doubts about electing to sit through this show - I found it was a bit slow going and amazingly campy - but by the second half (and after an espresso!) the story took off with the vampires taking center stage. Oh, and the campiness, by this point, grew on me. Part of its audience appeal is the schlocky heavy-handedness and garish make-up and costumes: One is supposed to laugh out loud and not forget he is watching a spoof about dancing vampires. (Just for the record I haven't seen Polanski's original movie yet.) Even though I didn't follow the dialogue - remember, it's in German - I still understood what the characters must have been saying to one another.
The set design changing from the foot of the moutain to the Vampire's mansion high atop it and several rooms within and back outside in the barren snow field is exciting to watch. The only downside to this production was the immensely loud orchestra which much of the time drowned out the actors.
by the second half (and after an espresso!) the story took off and the campiness grew on me
And, for once, the German audience actually reacted enthusiastically after each number even - amazingly! - giving a standing ovation at the end! I could barely believe my eyes and ears, y'all. 

As for the theatre, Des Westens is a veritable institution with remarkable eclectic architecture that's housed such legendary performers as Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich, and, since the '60s, musicals among other cast performances. The inside looks every bit old world charm with red plush carpeting and drapery, chandeliers suspended from high ceilings, polished brass railings, and masks and motifs carved around the high looking-glasses and pillars.  

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