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NanKnighton.com


In the Winter 2004 issue of The Voice, Nan provided some thoughts on the run of Camille Claudel in Chester, CT. These are reprinted here, with permission from The Voice - The Official Linda Eder Newsletter.


"It's very difficult to single out one thing I loved most about working on Camille in Chester/East Haddam. There was almost nothing I didn't love, but to list a few things:

Falling in love with the show itself, especially as I saw the staging and choreographic work Gabe and Mark did with the statues.

The coziness and beauty of everything about Goodspeed. The town is surrounded by water of every kind, you can lie on the pier and watch the boats going by, and then you walk down the street and always see someone you know. The people who work at Goodspeed are all warm and funny and smart and supportive - especially Michael Price, Sue Frost and Hattie Guin-Kittner.

It's such a great thing to have a family form within a show. This happens, of course, with every show, but because we were a small group, I think we became especially close. We had wonderful times together and I still remember the fun of all of us going bowling on my last night up there. I even got three strikes - amazing for somebody completely uncoordinated.

There are just a few specific moments that I remember:

The night that "What's Never Been Done Before" was born. Linda suggested rightly that "Snow Falls" was in the wrong spot and that we needed a rousing song midway through Act II instead. I knew she was right, Frank immediately wrote the music on the spot, put it on some old tape lying around the rehearsal hall. Then, about eight of us had a lovely semi-drunken dinner, discussing what the song should be about. The dinner took place on the terrace of La Vita Gustosa with candles on the table, and afterwards I just walked across the street to my apartment, played the tape and wrote the song. It felt like it was springing from sheer passion about Camille.

Frank and Linda gave a party on our night off in late August. It was to celebrate Gabe's birthday, as well as two other birthdays. We were outside the whole time, people bouncing back and forth between touch football, tennis, swimming, and looking for Mars through the telescope. But Michael Nouri and Milo O'Shea and I just stuck together on the deck, drank and talked and then started telling jokes. Actually, I didn't tell jokes because I don't know any jokes. But Michael knew some great ones. And then, my God, Milo started telling a series of jokes in his Irish brogue that were so hysterical, I thought that Michael and I would have to be carted away from the sheer strain of laughing. I would never repeat Milo's jokes because it is the watching of and listening to Milo himself that make these jokes so extraordinarily funny. Let it suffice to say that in one of the jokes, Milo had to become a buffalo, and I am laughing right now just remembering it. After all the laughter, Michael got his guitar and we all sang. There is a photograph of this moment on my website.

Obviously, opening night with its power outage was a remarkable moment, but I've written extensively about this on my website, and the pictures I've posted there illustrate well that we all kept our sense of humor through the whole thing.

In closing, I could list 200 great moments, but I'll spare you all."



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