By Chris Willman
November 09, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Dracula, The Musical

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Composer Frank Wildhorn’s latest pop-operetta is full of nothing if not great entrances and exits. The titular count and his coven of nubile vampiresses soar into the rafters, crawl up and down windows, and even make startling leaps into the orchestra pit. It’s only when they land and break into song (and with 27 musical numbers, boy, do they break into song) that trouble develops. ”We’ll become the undead/Have you grasped what I said?” warns Van Helsing, organizing a musical slay-ride. ”She makes me feel there’s more to life than blood!” warbles Dracula, lovesick. Then there’s the heroine, explaining her own pull toward vampirism via a power ballad, ”The Heart Is Slow to Learn.” Gotta be a spoof, right? Actually, Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde) and librettists Don Black and Christopher Hampton (Sunset Boulevard) couldn’t be more straight-faced. But, given Wildhorn’s track record with over-the-top tuners, this Drac could bite off plenty of popular support on Broadway…notwithstanding the critics, who may know exactly how ”the tormented undead/Longing just to be dead” feel.

Dracula, The Musical

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