SIR Elton John's troubled musical LESTAT has been panned by critics for a second time - despite 80 per cent of the show being totally overhauled for its Broadway, New York City, debut last night (25APR06). The stage show, based on the character from Anne Rice's novel Interview With the Vampire, initially premiered in San Francisco but was quickly axed after a string of damning reviews. John and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin hoped an extensive re-write would ensure its Broadway success but it was last night declared a lost cause when it opened at the Palace Theater. The New York Times call the show "a musical sleeping pill", while Industry newspaper Variety slam the performance as "beyond rescue". John, who has previously contributed to hit stage shows Billy Elliot and The Lion King, said, "I'd be an absolute liar if I said I'm not nervous about it being a flop. "All I know is that we've done the best we can."