Jim Steinman worked with Meat Loaf and Celine Dion on records -- and with Andrew Lloyd Webber on "Whistle Down the Wind." Ahead of an Ordway run, Steinman recalls the musical's legendary stops and starts.
By Rohan Preston, Star Tribune
Rock lyricist, songwriter and record producer Jim Steinman is perhaps best known for his work with such artists as Meat Loaf ("Bat Out of Hell") and Celine Dion ("Falling Into You"). But Steinman also writes for theater. The musical "Whistle Down the Wind," his 1996 collaboration with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, died en route to New York but was successfully revived for a long run in London. It opens Tuesday at the Ordway Center.
Hit-maker Jim Steinman is best known for his music of Meatloaf's "Bat Out Of Hell." (MARYELLEN FILLO)
By MARYELLEN FILLO | Courant Java Columnist
September 28, 2007
Record producer, composer and lyricist Jim Steinman stopped by Hartford this week to catch the opening night of "Whistle Down The Wind," which is playing at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts through Sunday. He wrote the lyrics for the show's music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Steinman, 59, an avid Yankees fan, is best known for his music on Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell" album. The 1977 album's title became the subject of a legal battle between Steinman and Meat Loaf, and was eventually resolved in an out-of-court settlement. Steinman is also known for a slew of hit singles for other performers, including Air Supply's "Making Love Out of Nothing at All," Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now," as well as his musical "Tanz der Vampire," which is still playing in Berlin, Germany.
A free spirit easily recognized by his signature mop of unruly hair, Steinman took time out from dinner at Bin 228 to Spill the Beans with Java.
The 10th Anniversary Concert of Tanz Der Vampire at the Raimund Theatre is now available as a souvenir CD. Follow the link below to order from Sound Of Music - a German site that's a treasure trove for all things Tanz Der Vampire!
Full cast and creative team have been announced for the national tour of the musical Whistle Down The Wind featuring a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman and a book by Webber, Patricia Knop, and Gale Edwards. The production, which is produced and directed by Bill Kenwright, begins at Houston's Hobby Center, September 9-22, with future stops in Hartford, St. Paul, Sacramento, Seattle, Detroit, and Los Angeles.
The show, which premiered in London, tells the story of a young Louisiana girl who finds a mysterious stranger hiding in her barn. When she asks his identity, the first words he utters are "Jesus Christ;" and it's as if all her prayers have been answered. While the townspeople are determined to find the escaped felon, she and her friends vow to protect him from the outside world.
The show stars Eric Kunze, Andrea Ross, Dann Fink, Adam Shonkwiler, Austin J. Zambito-Valente, Nadine Jacobson, Carole Denise Jones, Greg Stone, and Kurt Zischke. The ensemble features Ryan Appleby, Renee Claire Bergeron, Al Bundonis, Raisa Ellingson, Alexis Hightower, Stephen Horst, James Jackson, Jr., Justine Magnusson, Thomas Rainey, and Mickey Toogood.
It will feature costume and set design by Paul Farnsworth, choreography by Henry Metcalfe, musical direction by David Steadman, lighting design by Nick Richings, and sound design by Ben Harrison.
Kenwright to Direct Whistle Down the Wind Tour; Cities Announced
Additional venues have been announced for the upcoming national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman's Whistle Down the Wind, which will kick off in September.
As previously announced on Playbill.com, the inspirational musical will launch Sept. 9 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Houston, TX. The production is also currently scheduled to play the following venues.
Sept. 25-30 at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford
Oct. 9-21 at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul
Oct. 30-Nov. 11 at the Community Center Theater in Sacramento
Nov. 13-Dec. 2 at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle
Jan. 8-27, 2008 at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit
Directed and produced by Bill Kenwright, the musical is based on the film of the same and was previously seen in the West End and in a U.K. tour. Casting for the U.S. production is currently underway.
Whistle will feature costume and set design by Paul Farnsworth, lighting design by Nick Richings and sound design by Ben Harrison. Henry Metcalfe will choreograph; David Steadman will be the musical director.
In a statement composer Lloyd Webber said, "Whistle Down the Wind is a fantastic story for a musical dramatist and it took me back to my rock roots. It's a primal tale about salvation and forgiveness that everyone can relate to. I'm absolutely delighted that Bill Kenwright's wonderful production is going to be seen in America."
Director-producer Kenwright added, "My time working on Whistle has been, alongside Blood Brothers and Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the most exciting and rewarding of my career. It is a show that has everything - great, great songs, exciting narrative, wonderful performances and one of the best and simplest storylines I have ever come across. All in all, great theatre. I am very proud to be the show's producer and director."
A huge CONGRATULATIONS to the Budapest Vampire team on a PHANTASMAGORIC & ASTONISHING opening night! For ticket information visit the website link below.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman's inspirational musical, Whistle Down the Wind, will be launched on a national tour in September, marking the U.S. premiere of the revised version of the property.
The new Bill Kenwright-produced touring staging will launch Sept. 11-23 at the Hobby Center in Houston as part of the 2007-08 Theatre Under the Stars season. A tour schedule will be announced shortly.
Congratulations to the cast & creative team of Tanz Der Vampire on the triumphant return to the Raimund Theatre for the 10th Anniversary Concert! Read the article from Variety regarding Vampires' success in Berlin.
LABEL BLEW MEAT LOAF'S BIGGEST
February 28, 2007 -- WARNER Brothers Records has signed scores of huge-selling artists, but one who got away was Meat Loaf - because the mountain-size crooner got too carried away performing his steamy classic "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" for label executives back in the late 1970s. In his new book, "The Label," Gary Marmorstein writes that former Warner music president Mo Austin had greenlighted the "Bat Out of Hell" album, but it was then nixed by authoritative A&R chief Lenny Waronker. "[He] was repulsed by the band's in-office performance, which included Meat Loaf ostentatiously making out with singer Ellen Foley during the long 'Paradise' number. It was a catastrophic decision," Marmorstein writes. And how - the album was released by little-known Cleveland International Records in 1977, and went on to sell 40 million copies worldwide. It continues to sell 200,000 copies a year to this day, and was ranked No. 343 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest rock albums of all time.
Jim Steinman continues to open "Pandora's Blog" giving his own personal thoughts on many fascinating topics including the birth of demos from his Batman musical. Read his blog and then listen to the demos. You won't believe your ears...or any other part of your body!
The Dream Engine has launched a MySpace. Visit, become a "friend" and listened to some staggeringly beautiful and powerful demos including full-length versions of "Nowhere Fast" and "We're Still The Children We Were Then"
Q Magazine Names BAT OUT OF HELL Rock's #1 Guilty Pleasure
Issue Sept. 2006
Guilty Pleasures - Album Chart #1 Meat Loaf BAT OUT OF HELL
The sound of the rock n roll apocalypse. One of the greatest albums ever made. Obviously. Jim Steinman wrote epic, funny, lengthy songs where teenagers tried to loose their virginity, where girls were slim and devious and boys tubby and stupid, where the motorbike was an analogy for everything and to quote a future Steinman moment of genius, "where everything was louder than everything else."
Brilliantly, the distinctly rotund Meat Loaf sang the whole lot without irony, while Steinman and producer Todd Rundgren fashioned as wide-screen Wagnerian backdrop. Somehow the whole was even mightier than it's already heaving parts, hence the ten minute title-track where a man watches himself die; For Crying Out Loud, perhaps the most full-on, gut-wrenching ballad ever recorded and the sheer onanistic frustration of All Revved Up With No Place To Go. There was nothing like it in 1977. There has been nothing like it since, Bat Out Of Hell II notwithstanding. Staggering. Check out the story here.
Congratulations to all involved in the Tokyo production of Dance Of The Vampires. Have a wonderful opening night!
A very pleased Jim Steinman penned the email below shortly after hearing news that the first preview was a HUGE success!
I spoke to Rinkoff & Braunsberg & Mrs. Braunsberg & Michael Kunze. The report was that TANZ is A HUGE BLOODY BLOOMING MONSTER HIT!!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently, after only one thru, on the afternoon of the first performance ever in the theatre, It had its first performance for an audience. And THEY WENT CRAZY! STOMPING, HOOPING, CHEERING! And the audience wouldnt stop cheering or leave the theatre!!
I know nothing of Japanese theatre, but Kunze, who has a show MARIE ANTOINETTE that replaces our sold out run (already) in September. But IT WILL BE BACK A LOT, says Kunze.
He said it was VERY FAITHFUL, "much higher standard" than other shows, Rinkoff said there were TONS of laughs (more than original) and the leads were "fabulous."
Toho thinks it'll be a "big hit for years and years."
I dont understsand it, but YAY!!!!!!!!!
Jeff Berg of ICM was there raving about, they're all talking about the movie with Roman as The Professor a la Danny Kaye (now its officially called "Jims movie" cause I had the idea first, knowing how much Roman LOVES Danny Kaye. ) And a UK production was discussed.
SO HIP HIP HOORAY AND A BIG HIROHITO FOR THE JAPANESE AND THEIR TekkaTANZ DER VAMPYR! maki
Read Steinman's updated biography including a list of his current projects.
OVER THE TOP: SONGS BY JIM STEINMAN PRESENTED FOUR CONSECUTIVE
NIGHTS, JUNE 9TH THRU JUNE 12TH, 2005 AT THE CABARET AT MOHEGAN SUN, UNCASVILLE,
Producers Steven Rinkoff and Tom Lazenby present classic and new songs
from the rock operatic imagination of Jim Steinman, songwriter and producer
behind “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”, “It's All
Coming Back To Me Now”, “Making Love (Out Of Nothing At
All)”, “Holding Out For A Hero”, Bat Out Of Hell (albums)
, “I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)”
and many others.
Starring Rob Evan and featuring vocalists Elaine Caswell, Jeremey Kushnier
& Nicki Richards, OVER THE TOP unites, longtime Steinman collaborator,
Steve Margoshes at the piano with a group of singers and musicians providing
soaring talent to these iconic rock and theatrical masterpieces.
This time out, after a succesful run at Joe's Pub (NYC), Over The Top
adds Alex Skolnick, Matt Zebroski and Mat Fieldes, together with Margoshes
and Ben-David, forming a powerful band of multi-dimensional musicians
that offer a reinvented take on the Steinman classics as well as the
premiering of new Steinman songs.
“If you don't go OVER THE TOP, you'll never see what's
on the other side.”
Performances are June 9th thru 12th , 7:30pm 2005. Tickets available
at Mohegan Sun box office or through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com.
All tickets $25. Associate Musical Direction by Adam Ben-David. Lighting
Design by Herrick Goldman. Presented in part by Linda C. Russak.
OVER THE TOP: SONGS BY JIM STEINMAN. STARRING ROB EVAN WITH STEVE MARGOSHES
ON PIANO. VOCALISTS ELAINE CASWELL, JEREMY KUSHNIER & NICKI RICHARDS.
ALSO FEATURING ADAM BEN-DAVID, ALEX SKOLNICK, MATT ZEBROSKI, MAT FIELDES
Jim Steinman, whose feverish college epic The Dream Engine, inspired
Joseph Papp to hire him at the end of the Act 1, went on to write such
standards as Bat Out Of Hell (two albums - Meat Loaf) "Total
Eclipse of the Heart" and "Holding Out For A Hero" (Bonnie
Tyler), "Making Love (Out Of Nothing At All)" (Air Supply),
“It's All Coming Back To Me Now” (Celine Dion) to
name a few. Beyond that, Jim Steinman has written stage musicals recently
running in England (Whistle Down The Wind w/ Andrew Lloyd Webber), Sweden
(Garbo), NYC and currently, in its eighth year, Tanz Der Vampires, in
Hamburg and Vienna, soon to be opening in Poland and Japan.
Jekyll's Evan and Vampires' Gonzalez to Sing Jim Steinman Songs Jan. 30-31
Over the Top: Songs By Jim Steinman will be presented Jan. 30 and 31, 2005, at Joe's Pub.
Jekyll & Hyde's Robert Evan and Dance of the Vampires's Mandy Gonzalez will be among the singers interpreting the works of Steinman, whose chartbusters include "Total Eclipse of the Heart," "Holding Out for a Hero" and "Making Love Out of Nothing at All." Steinman's Broadway credits include Footloose (additional songs) and Dance of the Vampires (book, music and lyrics). Show times are 9:30 PM on Jan. 30 and 7 PM on Jan. 31.
Presented by Steven Rinkoff and Tom Lazenby, Over the Top: Songs By Jim Steinman will also feature the vocals of Elain Caswell and orchestrations/piano accompaniment by Steve Margoshes.
Robert Evan, a recent star of Little Shop of Horrors and Johnny Guitar, has appeared on Broadway in Dance of the Vampires, Jekyll & Hyde and Les Misérables. Another recent project was Off-Broadway's The Prince and the Pauper. His tour credits include Les Miz, Jekyll & Hyde and Hello, Dolly! A former UGA football player, Evan has appeared on ABC-TV's "All My Children," and his recordings include "Jekyll & Hyde," "The Civil War," "Cyrano," "The Broadway Musicals of 1940," "The Prince and the Pauper" and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's third Christmas album.
Mandy Gonzalez starred as Sarah in Dance of the Vampires. She won an Obie Award for her work in the Off Broadway musical Eli's Comin', and was most recently on Broadway in Aida.
Joe's Pub is located within the Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street. Tickets, priced at $25, are available by calling (212) 239-6200.
The Confidence Man
Beechmont Players announces it's Fall production of The Confidence Man by
Ray Errol Fox and Jim Steinman. Directed by James "Smeghead" Updike & Sarah
Updike. Production dates are October 29, 30 and November 5, 6. With a
Matinee performance on November 6th.